mm B lis 1 THE LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA THE COLLECTION OF NORTH CAROLINIANA ENDOWED BY JOHN SPRUNT HILL CLASS OF 1889 C2?2 P922 UNIVERSITY OF N.C. AT CHAPEL HILL 00042100671 FOR USE ONLY IN THE NORTH CAROLINA COLLECTION '-•■■-.■'•• .-':•■■ The Preaching (or Today BY J. B, GAMBRELL B. IX GRAY S Z. BATTEN B. W. SPILMAN Q. €. DAVIS I. M. MERCER AND OTHERS The Preaching for Today SERMONS, PAPERS AND ADDRESSES DELIVERED AT THE NORTH CAROLINA BAPTIST PASTORS' CONFERENCE SHELBY, DECEMBER 8, 9, 1913 PUBLISHED BY ORDER OF THE CONFERENCE PRICE 25 CENTS PER COPY, POSTPAID ORDER FROM J. S. FARMER, RALEIGH, N. C Raleigh, N. C. Mutual Publishing Company, Printers 1914 CONTENTS. PAGE. Introduction 3 By W. R. Cullom. The Importance to the Pastor of Spiritual Vision 9 By Frank Hare. The Apostle Paul as a Christian Leader ... 19 By J. B. Gambrell. The Point of Contact 2S By Edward Long. The Pastor and the Intermediate Boy ..... 40 By B. W. Spilman. Expository Preaching 44 By I. M. Mercer. Eschatology in the Pulpit: Its Use and Abuse 52 By Q. C. Davis. A Voice From the Pew 63 By T. M. Pittman. The Service of the Country Church 74 By S. Z. Batten. Denominational Christianity 97 By B. D. Gray. Fatherly Wisdom in Heavenly Affairs 101 By Charles Anderson. c 2 INTRODUCTION By W. R. CULLOM, TH. D., Wake Forest College. At the Seventh annual meeting of the North Carolina Baptist Pastors' Conference in Shelby, December 8 and 9, 1913, a committee was ap- pointed to consider the advisability of publishing the addresses of the present Conference. This committee was composed of Revs. W. C. Barrett, J. H. Foster, M. A. Adams, and J. S. Farmer. After carefully considering the matter, the com- mittee made the following report: "We, your committee, recommend that the members of this Conference pay or subscribe such amounts as they are willing to pay for the pub- lication of the papers and addresses presented to this Conference; and that the total amount shall not be less than one hundred dollars. That the publication be distributed to the individuals and churches in proportion to amounts contribu- ted. That a committee of three be appointed to se- cure bids and look after publishing the addresses and papers of this Conference. That the President of this Conference be requested to write an intro- duction, giving history and programs of former meetings of this Conference, and that this intro- duction be published along with the other papers." It is in response to the request set forth in the report of this committee that the following para- graphs are prepared as an introduction to this volume. Origin of the Conference. One man in the Convention had believed for several years that an annual meeting of the Baptist pastors of the State would be helpful to the pastors, to the Convention, to .the churches, and to the Cause of Christ in general. When- ever the matter was mentioned tentatively to X -J 4 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. some of our leaders the point was made that the Convention was already a great burden to the community that entertained it, and to add one day more might prove to be the last straw to break the camel's back. At the meeting of the Conven- tion in Greensboro in 1906, the brother in ques- tion went to the host of the next Convention and talked the matter over with him. Growing out of that conversation the following minute appears on page 62 of the Convention Annual for that year: "Fred Hale, expressing the opinion that we ought to have a North Carolina Baptist Minis- ters' Conference, and inviting such a meeting in connection with the Convention atWilmington next year, it was moved by W. C. Tyree, and adopted by the body that the President appoint a com- mittee of five to arrange for such a Conference. The President named W. C. Tyree, Fred D. Hale, Livingston Johnson, W. R. Cullom and Braxton Craig as the committee." In accordance with this action the first session of the Conference was held in the First Baptist Church, Wilmington, be- ginning Tuesday evening, December 3, 1907, and continuing through the afternoon of the follow- ing day. Rev. C. A. Jenkens was elected Presi- dent, and Rev. J. S. Farmer, Secretary. A num- ber of practical subjects were discussed by several of our best pastors in a way that proved very helpful to those present. A question box was opened on the second day of the Conference with the thought that brethren might have the oppor- tunity of presenting any special difficulty they might think of in connection with their work. One of the first questions to be read out by the Secre- tary was: "Why do Missionary Baptists not Com- mune with Primitive Baptists?" There seemed to be a look of "I told you so" in the faces of some of the brethren, and that closed the question box business. Other Sessions. The second session of the Conference was held THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 5 in Wilson, December 8 and 9, 1908. In the absence of President Jenkens, W. R. Cullom was elected President, and J. S. Farmer Secretary. From that time to the present the Conference has held an annual meeting, beginning just one day before the Convention, and holding three sessions as be- fore. The Conference has re-elected the same President each year from 19 08 to the present. Brethren J. L. Vipperman, Jesse B. Weatherspoon, and Walter M. Gilmore (the present incumbent) have served as secretaries. At the meeting in Hendersonville, 1910, on motion of Dr. B. W. Spilman, the chair was instructed to appoint a committee on nominations at the opening of each annual session. This committee is to make its report near the close of the same session and the officers then elected are to serve for the ensuing year. Plans and Policies. At this meeting in Hendersonville a few simple by-laws were adopted, but, along with the Secre- tary's book, they were soon lost. The freedom and spontaneity of the Conference have been among its most attractive features. From the beginning, the State Convention was asked to appoint the committee to arrange pro- grams for the following year, and to allow space in its Annual for a brief statement of the pro- ceedings of the Conference. In this way it has kept itself tied on to the Convention, and to many, has come to be one of the most pleasant and helpful parts of Convention week. The programs of each session may be found by referring to this Annual. It has been the purpose and policy of the com- mittee on programs to keep an eye open with reference to men outside the State, who might be coming to our Convention, and to have one or two messages from such representative men at each meeting of the Conference. A reference to the proceedings of the Conference will show that in 6 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. this way we have secured the benefit of such men as Dr. Calvin S. Blackwell, Dr. J. M. Frost, Dr. A. T. Robertson, Dr. G. W. Gardner, Dr. W. J. Mc- Glothlin, Dr. J. B. Gambrell, and Dr. B. D. Gray. To mention the names of our own State men who have served the Conference by presenting papers and addresses would hardly be in place here. Suffice it to say that these men have given out of their best to this work, and have done it as a labor of love. The assignment of a subject to a brother for discussion before this Conference has seemed to call forth the best that was in him, and such have been the character of these pro- ductions that many of them have called forth an immediate and spontaneous demand for publica- tion. Moreover, the high intellectual character and the deep spiritual tone of these papers and addresses have sent us all home richer and strong- er in mind and heart for the tasks that our God has assigned to us. At the last session of the Conference, so repeated and strong were the de- mands for publishing papers that there seemed to be a sort of consensus of feeling as to the ad- dresses that such utterances ought to be put into a more permanent form than a newspaper publica- tion. A collection, accordingly, was taken to pay the expenses of publication, and brethren J. S. Farmer, W. M. Gilmore, and D. E. M. Freeman were appointed as a committte to execute the wishes of the Conference in the matter. Hence the present volume. At our last meeting a motion was made to re- quire an annual fee of one dollar of each member cf the Conference to be used in publishing and distributing the addresses and proceedings from year to year. To the great joy of the writer this motion was tabled. Hitherto, as has been said, there has been but little organization, and the plans of operation have been about the simplest possible. No time has been taken up with for- malities. Every Baptist minister in the State has THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 7 been considered ipso facto a member of the Con- ference, and one had just as much right and just as many rights as another. The meetings have been open without money and without price to all preachers and laymen, men and women alike. If it will not be considered out of place in this connection to express a personal opinion, it would be to the effect that the Conference should see to to it that no red tape of any character shall be in- troduced that would tend to break up this open, free spontaneity which has characterized us hitherto. Of course we wish to obey the scrip- tural injunction that all things be done decently and in order. But with this one safeguard, let us as Baptist pastors continue to come together in our annual meeting with mind and heart free to catch and express to and for each other whatever the Spirit may be saying to any given generation. In this way, whatever one may have gained in the way of intellectual, moral, or spiritual attainment, let him give his brethren the benefit of it. So shall we be and become yet more and more ser- vants one of another. It may be that the pastors of many associations would find it profitable to hold an annual Con- ference on the day before the meeting of their association. They could then discuss questions of a more local nature than can be done in a State meeting, and yet some of the plans and even some of the addresses of the -State meeting might be carried into that of the association. It has been my privilege to attend one such meeting, and I found it very helpful. Looking then to the Great Shepherd of us all for our strength and model as shepherds of the flock and ministers of the gospel of the grace of God, let us ever keep in mind that ideal of the apostle to the Gentiles: "He gave some as apos- tles, some as prophets, some as evangelists, some as pastors and teachers; unto the perfecting of the saints for the work of ministration, for the build- ing up of the body of Christ; until we all attain 8 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we may no longer be babes, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of teaching, in the sleighs of men, in the cunning craftiness according to the wily manner of error; but speaking truth, may in love grow up in all things into him who is the head, Christ; from whom all the body, fitly framed together and compacted by means of every joint of the supply, according to the working of each single part in its measure, is effecting the in- crease of the body to the upbuilding of itself in love."— (Eph. 4:11-16). THE IMPORTANCE TO THE PAS- TOR OF SPIRITUAL VISION. By REV. FRANK HARE, Angier, X. C. Acts 26:19: "Whereupon, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision." With simple, passionate eloquence St. Paul bad been relating to the king the marvelous experi- ences of his conversion. As a faithful witness, he told about his persecution of the church, his journey and errand to Damascus, the light from heaven above the brightness of the sun. the voice that spoke as voice had never spoken before to him, and his call to be an apostle. Then he begins the narrative of his experiences after conversion by declaring: "Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision.*' Not disobedient unto a vision! Even so. For there is nothing so commanding as a vision, an image cast upon the soul. Not even a giant like St. Paul, with his face set like a flint in the wrong direction, could disobey it. We shall never understand human conduct or how to mould it. until we understand the subdue- ing and inspiring power of vision. Some of us by sad experience have already learned that no amount of pure reason, however logical and force- ful, will dissuade the wrong doer or incite to noble action the indifferent. Only an image of divine and awful realities, burnt into the soul by a light above the brightness of the sun, will do this. The evangelist is often criticized for his excessive story-telling and perhaps rightly; but his fault is the excess of a virtue and not a pure vice. He knows from experience that only preaching that creates vision will move men to action, and that the concrete is the best instrument for the pur- pose. He has seen the hardened sinner give in- tellectual assent to every article of his creed with- 10 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. out coming one inch nearer God; and he has seen such a sinner, while questioning the creed, fall upon his face in penitence under the power of a spiritual vision induced by a picturesque setting forth of the essential truth of the gospel. The vision is the most potent of all agencies in dealing with the human soul, and for this reason God himself employs it; for this reason doubtless he employed it in the case of Saul of Tarsus whose gigantic intellect and personality had thus far resisted every appeal of reason. When God spoke in terms of reason, he continued as before; but when God spoke in terms of vision he fell prostrate and penitent to the ground. And if we will but think of it, we shall recall that reason in our own lives has influenced our con- duct little until it has been reinforced by vision, whether the action in question was moral or secular. Let us, then, attempt at least a rough analysis, not so much of this vision of St. Paul's as of spiritual vision in general; and, as far as possible, put ourselves in the way of its heavenly influences. In order to do this I have chosen three typical visions of as many men which, I think, contain explicitly what this vision of St. Paul's contains implicitly and potentially. I. First, the vision of Isaiah recorded in the sixth chapter of his prophecies. It was in the temple. There sat the Lord upon a throne, his train filling the temple. Above it stood the seraphim crying one to another: "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His Glory!" The very door posts moved at the voice of them, and smoke filled the house. It was a moment made awful by the immediate presence of the infinitely holy God! Then the prophet cried: "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the king, the Lord of Hosts!" This .THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 11 let us term a vision of the Unspeakable Holiness of God. Isaiah was another man after this! He had apparently preached God's preaching before this; he had pronounced woes upon the people, being righteously indignant on account of their sins; but now having seen God, the holy God, he pro- nounces woe upon himself. Once the people were unclean: now he himself is unclean! What a difference it made in the spirit and content of his preaching! Once he denounced with indignation: now he warns with passionate, sympathetic solici- tude for the salvation of his people. He still cries woe. but in a new spirit. The pastor needs such a vision often to keep him sympathetic and tender, to prevent his falling into the spirit of phariseeism, and to keep him growing morally and spiritually. Having attained to higher moral and spiritual standards than the most of his flock he is in danger of comparing himself with those about him and becoming quite satisfied with himself. Such a result will be the grave stone of his usefulness. That it may not come with all its blight upon his life, let him often turn his gaze away from the people and look upon God. Paul, before his vision, was a good moral man, according to the standards of his time, and a first rate denouncer of what he believed to be other men's sins; but when he saw himself in the presence of God's holiness lie cried out: •'Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" It is now a question, not what other men ought to do, but what he ought to do. And all this change of atti- tude is due to the difference between vision and no vision. Satisfaction with ourselves and carping criti- cism of others is due to comparison with false standards. A pastor of a large city church, who loved all his people, rich and poor, as every true pastor does, was calling late one afternoon when he came upon the humble home of a poor woman ofhis congregation, who was making her living bv 12 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. washing. She invited him in and, having supper ready, asked him to share her frugal meal. This he consented to do through fear of offending her; and presently found himself sitting at table in her kitchen which was thus made to serve two purposes. Looking out through the window, he saw her latest washing hanging on the line and was struck with its whiteness. It seemed to him that this woman was rendering the world a good service in making clothes so clean and white; and thinking that she might be pleased by some mention of her good work he exclaimed: "How very white your clothes are!" "Yes," said the woman quietly, "I try to wash the clothes of other people's as clean as I wash my own." While they were eating the snow began to fall and cover the ground, the trees, the fences, the clothes line posts — yes and the clothes too; but the clothes be- ing damp, the snow on them melted and disap- peared; while it remained on all else. Thus the clothes in contrast with the snow seemed less white. The meal ended, the pastor looked out of the window again and exclaimed; "Oh, your clothes are not so white as they were a while ago!" "Yes," said the woman, 'they are just as white; but who can compare with God's whiteness?" Even so the pastor may seem white enough when he compares himself with the world about him; but when the whiteness of heaven falls about him he will cry out: "Who can compare with God's whiteness?" The first need of the pastor is a vision of God's Unspeakable Holiness. II. The second vision to which I have alluded is a vision of the prophet Zechariah recorded in the second chapter of his prophecy. This young man lived in the days of the exile after Jerusalem had been destroyed and when the hope was begin- ning to return that the ancient and sacred city would be rehabilitated. Of all the young Jews who entertained this fond hope Zechariah was probably the most hopeful. He believed that th© THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 13 city would be restored, it' not to its former gran- deur, yet to a semblance of its former self; and while he was fondly hoping and dreaming, the good God of hope granted him a vision of en- couragement. He seemed to be standing on the site of old Jerusalem, feeding his hope on its possible future. An angel appeared and talked to him; and as the angel talked a man with a meas- uring line in his hand appeared. The prophet, on inquiry, learned that this man was going to meas- ure Jerusalem to determine its future limits and the place of its new wall. The man went about his measuring; and as he did so, a second angel appeared and told the first angel to run and speak to the young man and correct his plan for the city; for, as the angel made clear, the young man, though hopeful and courageous, had planned too narrowly and the wall he proposed would cramp the development of the city. Indeed, the angel not only discouraged the narrow boundaries; he discouraged the placing of any limits whatever to the development of the future Jerusalem, saying, "Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein." No man must place limits to the possibilities of the Jerusalem to be. This we might call a Vision of the Illimitable Possibilities of the Kingdom of Heaven; and such a vision is necessary to every man who would work successfully with God for the coming of his kingdom, and especially to every preacher of the gospel. The greatest weakness of the church today seems to me to be lack of vision of the possibilities of the kingdom in this world and the next. We who are the pastors of the churches, I fear, are no little at fault. We are too small in our hopes, our plans, our undertakings. I have often thought that the kingdom is suffering more from the little- ness of its friends than from all the wickedness of its enemies. We lack almost infinitely much of believing all things, hoping all things. We are 14 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. almost willing to accept the verdict of the world that the Christian religion is about "played out. A man here and there will assert a limitless hope. A doubter said to a real Christian one day, "Christianity is a failure;" but back came the answer straight from a Christian heart, "No, it is not a failure: it has never been tried." Each of these statements may be extreme but the latter does not much overreach the mark, and better become a Christian than any compromise with the "played-out" theory of Christianity. At best, Christianity has only begun to show what it can do in a world like this. But there are those who say Christianity has not played out and is not a failure; but that it has done about all it can do to make the world better — has reached its limit. These people have used the measuring line and fixed the limits. And they have neither much faith nor much wisdom. If they had much faith they could not think that God, after giving his Son to die for the world, could suffer such a defeat as a check to the development of his kingdom at this juncture would involve; and if they had much sense, they could not think that God's cause can cease to grow strong without growing weak. Such people lack vision; and let the pastor beware of falling in with them and planning his work according to their limitations instead of according to God's inspira- tions. For Christianity will either do much more than it has done or it will play out. God's cause is like a great round burden which he is rolling up the steep ascent of time toward eternity, which will roll on to its destination or come crashing down to ruin. And there are still others who say that Christ- ianity will do still more; but that the agencies which were once mighty are no longer effective — that evangelism and evangelists have had their day, that the prayer meeting has had its day, that the preaching of a vicarious atonement has had its day and so on. Well, this would not be so bad, If THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 15 something better or as good could be given us in their stead. But, alas, here is the trouble. When evangelism ceases what takes its place? When the prayer meeting ceases, what takes its place? Oh, you say, social Christianity, the gymnasium, and the like. Well, these things may be good in their place but they are not good in place of the prayer meeting and the revival service. Once the church refused to take its instructions as to how to proceed, from the world; but today it is on such friendly terms with the world that some of its members want to discard the divinely ordained methods of procedure and follow Mr. Worldy Wise-man awhile. A little better acquaintance with God, a little more prayer, a little more de- votional study of God's Word, in short, a larger vision of the kingdom would suggest that we have not yet seen what God can do and will do with the old familiar agencies when they are in the hands of spirit-filled men. Evangelism has only begun its mission; albeit we may need a bet- ter type than we now have in some places; and the prayer meeting'. Let us not talk of discarding it until we have begun to use it. The Christian with a divine vision of an ex- panding kingdom, a coming kingdom, is optimistic enough to believe that God will still use all legitimate varieties of agencies for the saving of mankind and that in his own good way and time all the triumphant prophecies of scripture will be fulfilled: "The knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea," and "The kingdoms of this world shall have become the kingdom of our Lord and His Christ." Or to sum up in the words of a great poet, "The best is yet to be." III. The third and last vision which I wish to mention is the vision that St. Paul must have had burning into his soul when he said: "Brethren, I count not myself yet to have ap- prehended; but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward 16 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." — Phil. 3:13, 14. This I call a vision of the goal of the human soul. If such a vision fails us, we shall grow weary and discouraged, whatever our apparent success. Nothing already attained is ever entire- ly satisfactory. Whatever opinion we may enter- tain of the attainments and happiness of others, we know that we have not yet attained and are not entirely happy — that what happiness and com- fort we have come from faith and hope that some sweet day life will be better. This is doubtless God's arrangement with a view to spurring us onward toward a nobler destiny. The Poet Her- bert in his little poem entitled, "The Gifts of God," represents God as having a glass of bless- ings, with rest in the bottom, and as pouring them all out upon man except rest; and then saying of man: "Let him be rich and weary, that at least, If goodness lead him not, yet weariness May toss him to my breast." God will evidently not let us be satisfied here even if we would. Emerson perhaps never said a truer thing than when he said: "We are en- camped in nature, not domesticated. Hunger and thirst lead us on to eat and drink; but bread and wine, mix and cook them how you will, leave us hungry and thirsty, after the stom- ach is full. It is the same with all our arts and performances." And the Poet Shelley, unbeliever though he was, instinctively felt this truth, when in his groping unbelief he so sadly spoke of: "The desire of the moth for the star, Of the night for the morrow. The devotion to something afar From the sphere of our sorrow." Only a long look ahead at the divinely ap- pointed destiny of the soul will finally comfort THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 17 and inspire to noble action a man made in the image of God. The man who feels that he has been a failure in the past and that there is noth- ing better for him in the future is hopeless; the man that feels he has been a success in the past and can see nothing better in the future is lifeless; but the man who forgets the past in anticipation of a divinely appointed future is matchless. "What but this look afar at what God is aiming at can put heart into a man of intelligence who has tried these vanities of the world and found them wanting — who has discovered the truth an- nounced by Emerson that everything terrestrial has a crack in it somewhere. Some of us once fondly hoped that ere long in our little earthly career we should be free from our selfishness and meanness and stand forth in the world giants of strength and righteousness, equipped by our special training to render a large and satisfactory service to mankind in the name of God. But alas, alas! how little removed we are from the sin and inefficiency of the vulgar world! How unlike what, ere this, we so fondly hoped to be! But this is looking back — remem- bering the things that are behind. Let us look and stretch forward. If we do this we can say with Robert Brown- ing: "What I aspired to be, And was not, comforts me." For we shall know that the great thing we aspired to be, we may be yet in God's good time. Though we have not yet attained, have not yet apprehended, have not yet been made perfect and "it doth not yet appear what we shall be," yet, "we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." There- fore, we can admit our failures and still trium- phantly exclaim with the most optimistic of all poets: 18 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. "Oh, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for." Yes, we will let heaven comfort us! though some of us have almost permitted our worldly wise men to laugh the idea of heaven out of us. And there is, to be sure, a conception of heaven that ought to be got out of us some way — that conception that makes heaven a kind of tramp paradise, a place to go when there is no where else to go, a loafing place where nothing is ever planned or done, a place of rest for those who have never done anything worth while. But heaven as the place where God makes his home; as the place where all the dross will have been burnt out of us; where all the best in us is brought forward; whither, after we have learned our lesson in the tearful school of experience, we shall go troop- ing home to the large life for which this school has prepared us, such a heaven may well comfort us in this present evil world; for if God be true and no liar we, his children, shall some day come home to him never to return or wander. But till then, what? Well, though I am so im- perfect, though I have so sadly failed, let me come to God with my poor piece of a life and say: "Here I am, God! Take me and use me. Sur- round me with thy providences in such a way as to bring out the best there is in me; or rather bring into my emptiness what good thou canst; and use me, at least, a little for thy glory in this sinful world; ere I am called hence." Such should, I think, be the attitude induced by a proper spiritual vision. Let us, then, wait upon the Lord that we may have such a vision. THE APOSTLE PAUL AS A CHRIST- IAN LEADER. By J. B. GAMBRELL. D.D.. Dallas, Texas. In recent times some very bright men have been courageous or unwise enough to say that Paul was a great mistake. I can not speak of these critics in terms of as high praise as they speak of Paul- — I think they are small mistakes. The outstanding figure in the Christian world. from Christ this way. is the Apostle Paul. One of his critics speaks of him as a man of the highest order of mind. That is true, but that is a very small thing in the makeup of the foremost Christ- ian leader, after Christ, to this hour. Paul has done more for the enlightment of the whole world than any dozen universities that ever existed, and if his teachings had been followed, the world would have been spared the blight of Romanism, with all of its attendant evils. The necessity for leaders has always been imminent among men. It is not given to every one to be a leader. There are special endowments for leadership, and these are God-given. Xo people advance further than their leadership. A weak and vacillating leadership diffuses itself downward throughout all the ranks of its people. A courageous leadership knits up the strength of a people, and, if wisely directed, insures progress. Every pastor in his place should be a leader. "Whenever any one accepts the care of a church. he accepts the responsibility of leadership in that church, and he disqualifies himself to be pastor if he does not assume the function of a leader. The future progress of the cause we all love depends on wise leadership, so it may be well this morning to consider some of the elements in the makeup of Paul, the matchless leader of early Christen- dom. The elements in his character as a leader 19 2 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. can be definitely seen and no one need be mis- taken. Let us consider them briefly. In the first place, Paul had a living experience of Christ, wrought in his heart. On the Damascus road when he heard the voice of Jesus and saw the light, there entered into his soul an experience that transformed him. From that hour, he was faced about. From that hour his life's energies proceeded from a new center. From that hour he had a new purpose, and from that hour he sunk self in Christ and in the cause he was called to promote. It is an evil thing for any preacher to live in an atmosphere of doubt as to his own personal relations to Christ. The real leader must be prepared to speak, not only by the authority of the Word of God concerning the great things of the Kingdom, but he must have that experience of heart, which will make his testi- mony a personal testimony. Many a man, with poor equipment, has led gloriously, because of the consciousness of the power of Jesus in his heart. Many a man with elaborate equipment de- sirable in itself, has been a weakling and has failed in leadership, because he had no vital touch with the things he was constantly talking about. If we preachers are weak in our experiences, we will be weak everywhere. Perhaps, this ought to be said, too, that with a vital experience dominat- ing the heart, as Paul had it the dangers of quit- ting the track doctrinally, will be greatly lessened. No man with Paul's experience would ever doubt the damning effect of sin, nor the glorious power of grace to redeem. I have come to believe that no preacher can be stronger much, if any, than his personal religious experience. Then Paul had a definite call to service. He was not in any doubt as to his duty. He under- stood that he was separated to the gospel. His belief rooted itself far back in the divine purpose. He understood he was born for this definite thing, tp suffer and carry the light of the gospel into the dark places of the earth. My brother preachers, THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 21 if we have to be constantly in doubt as to our divine call, if we are oscillating constantly be- tween this and -that, then we will do but little in the ministry, for our leadership will impart to the people, who should be followers, the same uncer- tainty and weakness. Turn where you will in the Bible, and you will see that definiteness and fixedness of conviction are tremendous elements of power. Paul understood that his whole life was to be given to the spreading of the gospel, and, understanding this, he cut loose from other things and devoted himself to the one thing. It is at this point that much of the modern ministry is weak. It is because of a lack of definiteness and strength of conviction as to a call to the ministry that leads many a man to farm just about enough to ruin his preaching and preach about enough to ruin his farming. We get a good lesson from Paul. At one time he made tents, not to make money, but that he might preach; and it falls to some preachers to work sometimes with their hands, but if they are to be real leaders, they will work at secular employment to make ex- penses in their holy calling of preaching the gospel. And in the next place, I call your attention to the fact that Paul was a man of dauntless cour- age. The strength of predestination was in his soul. A sense of being knit up to the infinite and the divine by the Divine hand gave him courage. He turned back at nothing. You will see a beau- tiful contrast between a man w r ho once for all has settled things and knows what he is about and the man who is not quite certain, if you will study Peter and Paul at Antioch. Peter got into a bad atmosphere and vacillated. He carried Barnabas, a good man, with him and things were on the downhill slide at Antioch when Paul came on the scene. He was as tactful as he was courageous. To cure the whole situation he got Peter before the whole church and vertebrated him after a courageous and manly fashion and when he had 22 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. straightened Peter up before all of them he had straightened the church up. It was one of the strong points in Paul's leadership that he knew no man after the flesh — he had no dignity to take care of. And so throughout his whole career he was courageous to the last limit. There is a scene that might challenge the brush of the greatest artist. Think of Paul at his first appearing before Xero. Death was imminent. There was a reign of terror under that brutal ruler. Paul stood for his Master with undaunted courage, looking straight in the face of that brutal Emperor, surrounded by his subservient courtiers. You will recall what he said, "At my first appearing no man stood with me." In all the tides of time there is not a more splendid ex- hibition of lofty courage than Paul here exhibited. But you will remember another word, "Neverthe- less I was not alone; the Lord stood with me;" and so it should put courage in all our hearts, as we stand before the people, to know that no man who resolutely stands to his duty will ever be without the divine presence in that place. No coward has any right to be a preacher. If there is a preacher before me this morning, who is afraid of anyone in his church, afraid to speak his soul out or to do right, then that man ought to pray himself out of that timid atmosphere, or ought to resign and go where he is not afraid. The ministry calls for the finest courage in the world. There are men looking me in the face this minute who have to go through things that test them. That will test the quality of their leadership and devotion quite as much as the im- mortal charge of Pickett at Gettysburg tested soldiers, and besides, my brethren, people will not follow a coward. Nobody has any respect for a coward in the pulpit or out of it. If you have no courage then you are not called to be a leader. But I would like to put in this other word. Paul's tenderness and thoughtfulness and care were quite as marked as his courage. There was THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 2 3 nothing of the bully in him. He was a plain, straight-going man, who meant to do his duty al- ways, having regard to the weaknesses of men, always doing his duty, not hindering but helping. If a coward is out of place in the pulpit, then a bully is quite as much so, if not more so. He is the abomination of desolation, standing where he ought not. But I must hasten along. Paul was profoundly doctrinal. We hear quite a good deal in these latter days about dry doctrine, as if all doctrine were dry. It is not the doctrine that is dry, if it is Christ's doctrine; it is the preaching of it that is dry and people do not like to swallow what is dry. Paul was profoundly doctrinal, but there was a pathos and passion and love that glorified the doctrine, as doctrine glorified the other quali- ties just named. We are in great danger in some quarters just now of contracting softening of the brain concerning doctrine. Doctrine is the strength of Christianity and no man w r ill ever be a great leader of men who does not have some- thing definite to put before them. Many a man can ride on a wave of sentimentalism and pose as a leader, but the real leader, w r hether in poli- tics, morals or religion must have definite and clear cut conceptions of important truths, which he himself can state to the people. I have already spoken a word about Paul's pas- sion. It was the passion of Jesus for lost men, a passion so great as to stir his heart ceaselessly and move him, even as it moved his Master, to tears. It seems to me one of the greatest curses of our times is passionless preaching. Some people think they are intellectual w r hen they are merely shal- low: No man is profoundly intellectual in re- ligion wiien his heart is not profoundly stirred with the sin of the world, the woes of humanity and the infinite love of Christ for lost sinners. We need to w r atch ourselves, lest we fall into this shallow, pedantic preaching, which skims along on the surface and leads many a preacher out in- 24 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. to the shallows and into the dry rot of a thin scholasticism. Notice again how intensely active was this great leader. Brethren, one of the sins of the ministry today is sheer laziness. No man under the sun has as little time to. twaddle and stand on the street corners and idle away his time or take long periods off at watering places as the preacher. The preacher is the man with the greatest joh and the most urgent. He can not lose a day without falling behind with his work. There is not a spot on earth where people live that a preacher may not find all he can do. The humblest country pastorate has in it and about it enough to call out the energies of the greatest preacher in the world. There are simple, humble people, and ignorant, to be sought out and taught and led to Christ and trained. My soul has no delight in the easy going ministry that curses so many churches. Paul's great passion and purpose, like that of his Master was to fill up his ministry to the full and to finish the great work he was to do. And that can not be without great passion and purpose. I go back to say, that the. lazy preacher, who twad- dles around and goes to dinners and smooths a church down and keeps it easy is a disgrace to the ministry. I set off against him the intense activity of the great Apostle to the Gentiles. There are preachers today who are treating their churches like an old maid treats her pet cat — smooths its fur the right way all the time and is quite satis- fied if the cat purrs, forgetting all the time that while the cat purrs it is not catching mice. Our times in a preeminent way, call for active ministers, men who work at their calling to the limit of their strength, and I have yet to see any preacher who works as Paul worked who is not measurably supported. The simple truth of it is, brethren, a good many preachers are paid more than their work justifies. Let us think a moment about another high quality in Paul's leadership. It was out and out THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 25 unselfish. He never spared himself; he never sought his own; he was willing to spend and !,e spent. He followed in the steps of his divine Master in this respect. He was willing- to hurnhle himself and become all things to all men if by any means he might save some. He counted not his life dear unto himself, that he might ful- fill his ministry. It is this kind of ministry today that achieves the greatest results. Some preach- ers have a foolish notion that they have to live. Paul did not think he had to live, and. as a mat- ter of fact, he reached the time he didn't live. What all of us have to do is to do the work assigned to us_. and our living then is in the hands of God. This is true, however, that the most unselfish men in the ministry today are generally the best cared for. Here the divine word has its fulfillment. "Whoever is willing to lose his life shall find it. The self-seeking preacher will al- ways have a big job looking for a place and for somebody to help him get a place. I must come toward the last word. Paul was an optimist, not a silly, maudlin, blind optimist, but a wide-awake far-seeing, clear visioned opti- mist. He believed in his message; he believed in its power to revolutionize men. His message was Jesus and he believed Jesus could do for other men what He had done for him. He never doubted and he was never down in the mouth, because he was never down in the heart. When you see a man down in the mouth, it is because he is down in the heart first. It is a great pity that so many preachers, not here in North Caro- lina, of course, but so many preachers in the past and in some places now, have lost faith in their message. They are trying all sorts of devices to get people to church. They get fiddles, and more fiddles, big organs and then bigger organs, paid singers, all the etc., of fleshly pleasing. Some an- nounce extraordinary subjects and amuse people to get them to come to church. The next step is a cage of monkeys in church to get people 2G THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. to come and see. Why not? Who could think of Paul doing a thing like this. He believed ab- solutely in the message he was divinely appointed to deliver to a lost world, and in that Paul was profoundly wise. He was as certain as the stars that shine. Whoever made the Bible made the human heart and whoever made the human heart made the Bible. They fit, they go together. Hallam, the great historian said, "I know the Bible is true because it fits into all the folds of my being." Coleridge said, "I know it is true for it finds me." The Scriptures are the key to the human heart. Some have another key, and they rattle around the key hole, but never get in. Paul knew his message and believed in it. A preacher is undone if he doubts his message, doubts either the truth of it or the power of it. And then Paul's optimism had another great boost. He knew that Christ was with the man who preached the message. There is a divine ele- ment in the work we are in. If it were human intellect for the gospel against human intellect in rebellion, we would all get down in the mouth, because the world, the flesh and the devil are against us, and the wise of this world, with their fine strut and superior airs would put us all in the back ground. Bless God, the preacher with his message is divinely reinforced. He is not alone even as Paul was not alone when he preached before Nero and made converts in the Emperor's household. The preacher out among the lofty pines of this good State, or far out on the western plains, as he stands to deliver God's word is rein- forced by a power that is superior to all the powers of darkness. The gospel will never fail until we fail of men to preach it, with the con- sciousness of the Holy Ghost sent down from above. Now, I must come toward the close with just another word. Paul's eye was fixed steadily on Jesus. It was Jesus all the time. He was not beating around among the religions that he came THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 2 7 in contact with to find congenial elements, to fuse in with Christianity. The process of making up with heathenism did not begin with Paul. He had one message and one cry and one hope and that was Jesus. If Jesus were preached, men would believe; They would absorb everything good in the gospel, and eliminate everything bad around them. I am not taking any great pleasure these latter days in the philosophies that are creeping into our preaching. They are mere trash com- pared with Jesus the Master of men. If we will go on in the simple way that Paul went, gather- ing everything around Jesus, then we will have something of Paul's splendid optimism, because Jesus is going to win. He who made the world and everything in it is going to master the world and He will master it through the simple preaching of the gospel. That was the way Paul looked at it, and if we look at it that way, we will have something of Paul's serene and lofty optimism, that will turn all darkness into light and every difficulty into an opportunity. We will be able to put over against the bad of the world, the im- measurable good of Jesus and His reign, a reign coming on more and more and sure to be univer- sal. I have given my simple message this morn- ing. Let us follow Paul as he followed Christ. THE POINT OF CONTACT. By EDWARD LONG, North Wilkesboro, N. C. I shall take the liberty of restating the subject that has been assigned to me for discussion, but even with the restatement the committee has al- lotted to me an exceedingly difficult subject to dis- cuss intelligently, yet, a most vital one. The re- statement, which is the same in substance, only more specific, is, The Proper or Most Acute Points of Contact. And I want to discuss it under three heads, namely; (1) The Necessity of Finding Proper Points of Contact, (2) The Difficulty of Finding Proper Points of Contact, (3) How Shall We Find Proper Points of Contact? The minister of long or brief experience almost unconsciously forms the habit of selecting a pas- sage of scripture as a basis for all his public discourses. I am no exception to the rule. While I do not intend to bring to you, in the technical sense, a sermon this morning, yet I do want to quote a passage of scripture, that to my mind clearly suggests and, in a large measure, explains the subject that has been assigned me for dis- cussion. And I trust that what I shall say shall be sufficiently pregnant to suggest to you lines of activity that you may, for yourselves, follow to a logical conclusion, which lines of activity may be of large service to you in your vital ministry. The passage of scripture that I refer you to is found in I. Corinthians, 9:19-22: "For though I was free from all men, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more. And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, not being myself under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without the law, as without the law to God, but under the law to Christ, that I might 2S THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 29 gain them that are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak: I am become all things to all men. that I may by all means save some." Why does Paul when he is with the Jews be- come as a Jew, obey the Mosaic and ceremonial law; when he is with the Gentiles become as a Gentile, disregard the Mosaic and ceremonial law; to the weak become weak? He explains in the last clause of the 2 2nd verse — -"that I might by all means save some." The prince of preachers is simply trying to step on common ground with Jew, Gentile and weak that he may be able to get them to see Christ from his angle. He is try- ing to get so very close to them that he may have sufficient insight into their lives to touch the most sensitive and most responsive spot in their hearts. He is willing to make any sacrifice, so long as no Christian principle is violated, that he may find the most acute point of contact with them. (1) The Necessity of Finding Proper Points of Contact. Why was it so necessary that Paul find proper points of contact? That his message might be effective. The black-smith must know just when, where and how to strike the blow if he would unite the two pieces of iron. The miner must know almost instinctively where to sink the shaft if he would tap the vein of gold. The physician must know how to diagnose the case, find the seat of the disease if he would heal the affected parts. The farmer must know just when, where and how to place his every energy if he would reap a full harvest. The business man must know just when to touch the selling and when to touch the buying markets if he would garner the largest margins. The politician must know just when, where and how to do and say the proper thing if he would ride on the crest of public favor. The huntsman in search of large game must know just when and 3 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. where to place the shot if he would pierce a vital organ, fell the game and save his own life. So the minister above all must know just what, when, where and how to say and do the right thing if he would make his words and works effective. He must be wise enough to grasp the inspired thought, speak the God given word and seize the psychological moment, if he would be an instru- ment in God*s hands for saving souls, transform- ing lives and revolutionizing personalities. In other words he must find the most acute points of contact if he would make his words, works, and life effective. A most noted physicist of ancient times said, "Give me a place to put my fulcrum and I will move the earth." That is, give me an acute point of contact between this planet and some external body and I will toss this earth out of its orbit. So, the individual if he knows how to approach God and how to touch the world at the most acute points may be a fulcrum in God's hand by the use of which He may not only toss the individual but the whole world out of the orbit of sin. Again, why should the minister find the most acute points of contact? Because an immortal soul is in jeopardy, an eternity of happiness is the hazard. Because his work is of such vital im- portance that nothing short of the largest results should satisfy him. And in order to get the lar- gest, or maximum results, he must know just when, where and how to invest his every energy, or know how to find proper points of contact. The slogan for all aggressive men in every walk of life for the past score of years has been, "We must have maximum results from minimum ex- penditure of energy." The tiller of the soil, who is often slow to grasp modern and improved ideas, is today as never before beginning to realize that he must apply this economic principle, and as a result, the ox team, the crooked stick and the pruning hook are fast being displaced by the Percheron horse, the power propelled machine, THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 31 the most modern farm implements and the most scientific methods of cultivation. Today his rugged strength brings him a hundred fold larger i results than a few years ago. The same is true in all spheres of activity today. The miner, the mechanic, the merchant, the man of large business interests is striving as never before to get the largest and quickest returns from the least ex- penditure of energy. Only a few days ago I noticed that a machinist has invented an engine that will produce four to five times as much power from a given amount of fuel as the present type of steam engine. If men in all other walks of life today are ap- plying this law of efficiency with marked success, the minister, above all should begin to check the waste, should strive to get maximum returns from minimum expenditure of energy, and more, he should be satisfied with nothing less than the maximum expenditure of his every energy with proportionately increased results. Ours is too serious a calling to allow a grain of energy to go to waste or to be spent needlessly so long as it is preventable. But how are we to get maximum results, how are we to find proper points of contact? (2) The Difficulty of Finding Proper Points of Contact. This is an exceedingly difficult task. Indeed, I think the most difficult problem that the minister has to solve is, "How shall I approach my people on the street, in the home, in the sick room, in the hour of trouble and business reverses, by the open grave? How shall I prepare my message that it may always be effective?" This is a most delicate task, an exceedingly difficult problem. Israel is in bondage to Egypt. God has "seen the affliction" and "heard their cry." He turns to Moses and says, "Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out 32 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. of Egypt." Moses has left Pharaoh's court for this express purpose. Quickly he reviews the power of Pharaoh and the weak and disorganized conditions of the Israelites and with despair written on his face he turns to God and says, "Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" He saw the great need bat he quailed before the difficult task. Yonder to the south, in echoing distance each of the other, the two great oceans of our earth, for ceasless ages, have madly hurled their terrific breakers from one side and the other against the rockribbed and impregnable Isthmus of Panama. The time has come that the commercial interests, social development and religious awakening of the world demand that an international water way be opened across this narrow but formidable bar- rier to progress. The eyes of all the great, nations have been turned toward this world need for a century. They knew full well that to throw a canal across this narrow isthmus would revolu- tionize the commerce of the world and be the longest stride toward international peace that the world has taken since the coming of the Prince of peace. France saw the great need but faltered before the difficulties. The United States long years ago saw the crying need but for decades stood in awe of a need that was hedged about with so many difficulties. Here is a world in sin. lost! God's great, warm, throbbing heart yearns for man. He wants to save this world, but, ah, the difficulty! I say it reverently, but I believe God Himself stood in awe of the supremacy of the human will, of that indomitable principle in man! Yonder is Calvary, here is Christ in Gethsemane, stretching out before Him, is a world in darkness and overwhelmed with sin. The need, oh, the need of salvation, but the difficulties in the way of working out that salvation! As the dense darkness, born of the difficulties, hovers about His THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 33 squI, in great agony He falls upon His face and says, "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me!" I fancy that Christ won- ders if even Calvary itself will roll back the flood of sin and save the world! There before you is an individual out of Christ, a large church lost in slumbers, a community with low ideals, out yonder is a China in darkness, an India in superstition, an Africa lost in the jungle. The great need stares every earnest soul in the face, but the difficulties in the way of meeting these needs well nigh overwhelm the most opti- mistic. (3) How Shall We Find Proper Points of Contact? Now we recognize the necessity of finding the most acute points of contact, the difficulty of same. It is then left to us to meet this necessity, to solve this difficulty. For if this necessity is ever met, this difficulty ever solved, it will be by those who under the guidance of a Divine power find the most acute points of contact. The tiller of the soil, the miner, the mechanic in order to get maximum results from minimum expidentures of energy must know, at the least to a moral certainty, how to expend his energies, he must not act on a supposition. The farmer must know where to place his spade, the mechanic where to place his fulcrum, the miner where to place his powerful explosive. In other words he must find the most acute points of contact if he would get the largest results. So it is with the minister. If he would get maximum results, not from the minimum expenditures of his energies but from the maximum expenditures of his ener- gies he must know how to approach God, how to touch man at the most acute angles of his life. Here is the crux of the whole matter. Here is the test of the minister's efficiency. Here is the secret of his success or failure. With this know- ledge he succeeds, without it he fails. All along through the Christian centuries some men— ^-a 34 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. Chrysostom, a Luther, a Spurgeon, a Moody — have seemed to possess this knowledge to the full, while others have wrought without it. So it is to- day. One minister goes on a field. He toils at his desk faithfully through the morning hours, he runs errands of kindness in the afternoon, *he is careful of his devotional life. Yet from every outward appearance he accomplishes very little. Another minister goes on another field where, to all outward appearances, the conditions are similar. The latter is no more faithful, no more pious, no more zealous, no more brilliant, yet his ministry is apparently much more effective. How do you account for the difference? You have heard two ministers of equal piety, of equal native ability, yet of unequal educational advantages. The one selected his text, gave the setting, then literally tore it apart, piece by piece, as the expert machinist would tear in pieces the most intricate machine, held up each piece before you, explained to you its relationship to every other part of the text and to the whole. Then he carefully fitted it back together. The other selected his text, he could scarcely read correctly, interpreted badly. The one was logical the other illogical. The one was delivered with dignity, grace and ease the other was poorly delivered. Yet the one fell on deaf ears and listless hearts while the other touched the heart, stirred the soul and quickened the life. What was the dif- ference? One knew not how to approach God, to touch man at the most acute points, the other did. Here is a minister with wide culture, extensive knowledge, large grasp of history, science, litera- ture, theology. He is pious, earnest. Yet he cannot influence men. Why? Because he does not know how to find the most acute points of contact with their lives. Now, how is the minister to meet this necessity, to solve this difficulty, to find proper points of contact? THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 35 It is self-evident that he must have certain fundamental qualifications for this very delicate work. He must first of all be a man. He must have that innate quality of soul that will make him ring true every time he is tested. He must be an honest man. for rightly says Pope. "An honest man's the noblest work of God."' He must be a thorough-going Christian man. He must know God. He must have had an experience with Christ. The living presence of God must be the dominating personality in his being. He must be conversant with the great cardinal teachings of God*s inspired word. He must know human nature — the heights to which man may rise, the depths to which he may sink. He should have a general knowledge of the great social, economic, and political movements of his day. Other things be- ing equal, the more thoroughly his mind is trained the better qualified he is for his difficult work. Gone forever the day when the Baptists of North Carolina and the Southland shall be satisfied with anything short of the most thoroughly equipped ministry. The Dean of the seminary where I took my training in urging the young men to thoroughly equip themselves before going out into their life work, frequently used this graphic statement: "Young men," said he. "stay by the grindstone a long time in the morn- ing for God Almighty Himself can cut more wood with a sharp axe than with a dull one." Again, he must be an observant man. He must be the equal or superior of Sam Walter Foss's ideal man. Says he, "Give me men to match my mountains, Give me men to match my plains, Men with, empires in their purpose, Men with eras in their brains." He must have intelligent convictions and have the courage of his convictions. He must have a consuming passion for human souls. 3 6 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. "O, for a passion for souls; O, for a pity that yearns; O, for a love stronger than death; O, for a fire that burns; O, for a prayer that prevails; Prayer for the millions lost; Prayer in the Conqueror's name; O, for a pentecost." And above all he must tarry at Jerusalem until he be endued with power from on high. Having these and other cardinal qualifications that 1 might mention, will every minister succeed, will he be able to find proper points of contact with men? No. How then can he find the most acute points of contact? No hard and fast set of rules can be given. Why? Because every true minister has his own unique personality. He is not like any one else, no one else is like him. He has his own cast of mind, his own experience, his own way of putting things, his own way of doing things; every time he turns, every individual he meets, every congregation he faces, every community he enters, every morning he awakes, he is brought face to face with new born conditions. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit he must be able to relate his life and message to these ever chang- ing conditions or he fails. Undoubtedly Christ had in mind this Divine guidance when He said to His disciples, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall %peak: for it shall be given you that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." The peerless Apostle Paul was an adept at adapt- THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 37 ing himself to swiftly changing conditions. When the mob was about to tear his body limb from limb he looked into their angry faces and "per- ceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, 'Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Phari- see: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.' And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was di- vided," and Paul was delivered out of their hands. When he stood before Felix and Drusilla he real- ized that it was folly for him to recount the actual details of his defense so with all the earn- estness of his soul "he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come," and made Felix tremble in his presence. When his feet mere made fast in a dungeon at Philippi he prayed and sang songs of praise and through this wonderful deliverance from prison the whole city was turned upside down and Paul was the most conspicuous character and his Christ the most talked of person. When he stood "in the midst of Mars' Hill" he startled the Greek scholars who were all the while searching for something new, by proclaiming unto them "The Unknown God." Now he is telling the thrilling story of his con- version, now laboring with his hands, now work- ing a miracle, now proclaiming the salient fa^ts of Christ's life and ministry. Yes, everywhere and at all times he became " all things to all men," that he "might by all means save some." Who has striven harder to find acute points of contact with men than Paul? Who has been more suc- cessful? So we should strive to do this difficult thing. If facing a company of men whose lives have been begrimed with sin, who have sunk to the very depths; the simple story of our conversion may be the most telling sermon; if facing an intellect- ual audience, an appeal to reason may be most effective; if facing a company of self righteous 38 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. whose hearts have become calloused, the terrors of the judgment may move them; if facing a com- pany of the giddy and thoughtless, an appeal to the emotions may be wisest. It is left to us under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to become "all things to all men," that we may by "all means save some." In conclusion I can but refer you to Him who is at once the ideal and despair of all other, preach- ers, Jesus the Great Teacher. Says one of Him, "It is quite certain that no other hero ever went to such instant popularity as did Jesus. Within a few weeks after he began His public ministry His name and fame had travelled into the utter- most corner of the land. In their eagerness to hear Him, men forgot their private interests and their public duties. The farmer deserted his plow, the shepherds forsook their flocks and all men rushed together to see and hear Jesus. "Where were the hidings of His power with men? It was not His education. That He acquired in the uni- versity of observation. It was not His oratory. Others were as eloquent, as men style eloquence. It was not His leadership. Others have been able to transform a multitude into a regiment. Where, then, were the secret hidings of His power? Bar- ring Divinity, it was the note of reality in His life. It was His absolute originality. He re- fused to be bound by tradition or fettered by cus- tom. Instead of turning always to the laws of Moses and the prophets for his texts; the blade of grass, the wild lily, the latest new blown rose, the falling sparrow, the drifting cloud, the wedding feast, the journeying king, the passing soldier, the sight of the sower, served as the bases of His great discourses. It was the greatness of the themes He discussed. God, man, the world, vir- tue, the nature of righteousness, the com.ing of the kingdom, the reign of peace, sin, forgiveness of sin, kindness to enemies, duty to the child, to women, to parents, to the state, the hope of im- THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 39 mortality. It was His power to adapt Himself to any new born condition, to meet every emergency with apt parables and illustrations which fell from his lips as swiftly as suns and stars fall when the right hand of God's omnipotence smite* the anvil of matter and purpose. Know God, study Christ's methods, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, find the heart of man. THE PASTOR AND THE INTER- MEDIATE BOY. By B. W. SPILMAN, D.D., Kinston, N. C. The Intermediate Department of the Sunday- school takes the ages thirteen to sixteen, inclusive. A boy at this age is just emerging from child- hood. He is not yet a man, and will not be for some years. In introducing him you do not know whether to say "Mr. Smith" or simply "John." His voice is freaky. He probably loves his sister very much, but he would not, for the world, be like her. He is a queer sort of animal. There is no other like him. Here in North Carolina almost every boy in the State has, at some time in his life, been brought under the direct influence of some sort of relig- ious training. Nearly all of them have been in the Sunday-school at some time. It would be well on the safe side to say that had they all been kept in the Sunday-school for a period of fifteen years, or until they had reached the age of twenty, that ninety-five out of every hundred of them would have been saved. As it is, the best available statistics on the subject reveal the alarming fact that of every hundred boys who enter the Sunday-school seventy-five per cent are allowed to drift away and go beyond the reach of the ordinary available means of salvation, so far as we can bring the means to bear upon them. The men of tomorrow are the boys of today; every man today was at one time a boy between the ages of thirteen and sixteen. In the name of this future generation I make the plea that we hold the Intermediate boy and win him for Christ and to a life of usefulness. Before being able to do anything with any degree of intelligence, we must know something of the boy in this period. The means of knowing 40 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 41 him are easily available. Books have been writ- ten about him. You pastors were all once boys. The raw material is at hand for a first hand study. The wide-awake boys of your community afford one of the finest possible sources of ma- terial for intelligent laboratory work. The speci- mens are very much alive. They are liable to have something happening at every stage of the game while you are making the study. What should be known about the boy in this period? Certainly the general characteristics which fit all boys of this general age should be understood if we would work with them intel- ligently. Let some of these characteristics be pointed out: 1. It is the age of most rapid growth. When we know what this involves it will change our whole attitude toward the boys sometimes. 2. It is the period when disease comes most frequently. 3. It is the age when the boy is awkward and shy. He is growing rapidly and the nerves are near the surface. He feels that everybody is looking at him, and perhaps offering adverse criticisms. 4. Hence this is the age of self-consciousness. And all who have passed through this age know how very unpleasant it is. 5. It is the lonely period of the boy's life. He dreams dreams and sees visions. 6. It is the wandering age. He dreams of lands far away. He wants to be out and going somewhere. And some of them obey the impulse and go. 7. It is the habit-forming age; perhaps not so much the age of forming habits as the age of fixing them. Ideals come thick and fast. Some are good and some are bad. 8. It is the age of crises. Habits fixed will stay. The mind is reaching out after other things. Foundations are examined and often the boy 42 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. thinks a cause is no stronger than the arguments made for it. 9. It is the age when the criminal develops. A boy who passes this age without becoming a lawbreaker is fairly safe on the road to good citizenship. 10. It is the age of moral lapse. Perhaps nine tenths of all the boys who grow to be men, of unclean lives had the first lapse from purity in the age covered by the intermediate period. 11. It is the age of conversion. Generally the battle is fought out and either won or lost in this age. If the boy passes sixteen years of age without surrender to God the road leads farther and farther away with every passing day. 12. It is the age of the highly developed sense of altruism. The gang spirit is highly developed. He stands for team work. All of these will readily indicate pointers as to the wise handling of the boy. But it must be remembered that no two boys are alike. And the traits which they have in common do not develop with the same degree of rapidity. Each boy must have individual treatment. And the treatment which would do today will not fit to- morrow. A boy is not only not like anything else in the world, but he is not like other boys, and is not like himself any two days in succes- sion. Hence the teacher must know the individual boy. Know him by name; know the things which touch his daily life; know the things of which he is fond and The things which he dislikes. Know the life which he lives. Just a few general hints as to how to deal with the boy. He needs a companion even more than a teacher. A man who knows a boy and who can understand him is worth more as a teacher for him than an expert teacher. Happy the pastor who can make boys love him. It is the first step toward winning him for the Christ. Be patient with the shy, awkward boy. He will outgrow that after a while. Shield him THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 4 3 from publicity. See that special rooms are pro- vided for them. If not, they are going to leave the Sunday-school with almost the certainty of the passing of years from the Junior to the In- termediate Department. Be his companion; go hunting and fishing with him. Have a party of them go camping with the pastor. Throw around him the right kind of influences. Be what you would want him to be. See that the hero for him is the hero who stands for righteousness. Go after him for a definite decision for Christ. But do it privately and under right conditions. Organize them around some idea which is good. Make a definite place for him in the Sunday- school system. With our highly developed Sun- day-school organization some people think that the last word has been spoken in that direction. I am not at all sure of it. Instead of having a junior department with boys and girls in that department, and an intermediate department with boys and girls in the department, I think that we had better come to the plan of having a boys' department with Junior and Intermediate boys in it, and a girls' department with Junior and Intermediate girls in it. Would that some pastors here might try the experiment and do it so that the thing might have a fair trial. It is the business of the pastors to win the boy both to Christ and to a life of usefulness. The men of tomorrow are the boys of today. They are worthy of our best efforts. EXPOSITORY PREACHING. By I. M. MERCER, D. D., Rocky Mount, N. C. Sermons may be classified from two main points of view: On the one hand, as to their general contents or subject-matter; on the other, as to their method of treatment, or sources of division and material. According to the first clas- sification, as to their subject-matter, sermons are called doctrinal, or moral, or historical, or ex- perimental, and the like. According to the second classification, namely, the method of treatment, sermons are called expository, or textual, or sub- ject sermons. Of course these lines of division are not always clearly marked, sometimes they shade greatly into one another. But these are the general divisions. In subject sermons the text is presumed to furnish the topic, the subject, only; while the headings, the divisions, as well as the material of the sermon, are our own. In textual sermons not only the topic, but also the headings, the divisions, are taken from the text; while the treatment of the same is still our own. In ex- pository sermons the text furnishes not only topic and divisions, but also the material, the thought, the sum and substance of the sermon. The word expository means exposing or bring- ing out. Expository preaching, then, is that form of preaching that exposes, sets forth, or brings out what is in the portion of Scripture chosen as a text, namely, its meaning or thoughts. Expository preaching asks and answers this ques- tion: What is the exact meaning of this passage of Scripture; what its leading and minor thoughts; what their true relation to one an- other; and what the lessons and teachings for us? It has nothing to do with other thoughts than those involved in the text; nor even with other 44 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 4 5 passages of Scripture, except so far as quotations or as briefly shown to harmonize therewith. The basis of expository preaching is exegesis. But mere exegesis is not expository preaching. Exe- gesis, like the blade of the dissecting physician, takes apart, but does no more than this. Ex- pository preaching also dismembers, but it dis- members in order to put together again; the be- holder during the process having learned the members and their functions, and in the end seeing the harmony and beauty of the whole. Such preaching brings out before the hearer as near as possible the exact thoughts of the pas- sage, no more, no less, each with its own value or emphasis, and all in their unity and structural beauty, and gathers as it goes the fruits and les- sons for the hearer. The full counterpart of expository preaching, as already intimated, is subject preaching. In ex- pository preaching the sermon comes from and out of the text, in subject preaching the text is found for the sermon, or at most furnishes the theme only; in the former the thought is, "What does God say here?" in the latter, "Here is some- thing I want to say for which I want Divine sanc- tion in the form of a text;" in the former the Scripture is both text and sermon, in the latter it is pre-text and nothing more. In these defini- tions I would not disparage the forms of subject preaching, especially those sermons in which the Scriptures bearing on great themes and doctrines are collated and discussed. Such preaching is due both to the word and the churches, and every pastor must more or less engage therein. And yet the broad distinction between the expository sermon and the subject sermon still remains, that in the former the preacher comes to God's words to get both text and sermon, while in the latter he comes only for the text, proposing himself to furnish or evolve the sermon. That there are difficulties, and sometimes failures, connected with expository preaching, no 46 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. man who has ever honestly and earnestly tried it will deny. It is a form of preaching that de- mands on the part of the preacher very accurate, patient and long-continued study of the text and the word of God; and it is often the case with the busy pastor of a large field that the requisite time for such study cannot be gained, even though the spirit, yea, the yearning desire, for such study be present. It is also a method of sermon- izing in which one cannot with rapid stride attain unto maturity and mastery. Indeed, ability in expository preaching, though possible to all, is a matter of comparatively slow growth, even with the ablest. Such ability, like the growth of the oak, may be sure, but it is also slow, and has to weather many a storm. But, like the oak again, it will furnish strong timber and pillars for the churches of the living God. Another difficulty in the way of expository preaching lies in the people, in the churches themselves. The people in general do not know enough of the word of God to follow with appre- ciation and profit the exposition of a passage of ordinary length. This is true, perhaps, of the majority of our church members. How humiliat- ing it is to the preacher when, after long, patient and thorough preparation, he brings before his people an exposition of some important passage, and finds in a few moments that their grasp of the subject, instead of strengthening, is weaken- ing, and soon that they are not following him at all. Long ere the sermon is done the preacher, with hungry eyes, spots here and there the few diligent readers of the word, and, leaning hard upon these as his Aarons and Hurs, he hastens to the end of the conflict, almost vowing in his heart that he will never attempt another exposi- tory sermon. Of course some one could say such a result is the fault of the preacher, that he ought to have made the sermon sprightlier and better. But this is not always the case. It is true that the exposi- THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 4 7 tory sermon is the hardest of all sermons to make and the hardest of all to deliver; that it re- quires close-knit unity and structure, a thorough mastery of the details, and an upholding and linking of all the parts; that it must be a living and burning organism, moving with strength and stride; and yet, it is also true that many an ex- cellent expository sermon has been a comparative failure, and that because the people, even profess- ing Christians, did not know enough of God's word to grasp the Divine thoughts and to follow and uphold the expositor. In the face of these admitted difficulties what shall we do? Shall we with a groan retire from the contest and give up expository preaching? Shall we cease to bring to our people, now and then, careful exposition of God's word, even though such sermons may be heavy and dull to many of them? That were childish and unmanly; that were being untrue to the churches, to the word, to the Captain of our Salvation. But, brethren, much can be said in favor of expository preaching — enough, and more than enough, I verily believe, to outweigh all that has been said or can be said against it. A few moments' thought will readily reveal to us what advantages expository preaching has for the preacher himself. We can at once see that such preaching will lead him to a closer and more patient study of God's word, and therefore to a more thorough knowledge or its meaning and teachings, that thus he will become a workman not needing to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth; we can see, too, that thus his ser- mons will contain more of Scripture truths, and in general there will be a greater tendency to view and present things from a scriptural stand- point; also, that thus he will be guarded from a great deal of wild misinterpretation, accommo- dation and spiritualizing of the text. These things are at once patent, and I need not enlarge them. There are other advantages, and that with 4 8 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. reference to the Kingdom and the cause at large. To these I would call your attention. Expository preaching will help to supply the great need of the day in the churches; namely, men and women soundly rooted and grounded in the faith, men and women normally and naturally developed in the Christian graces and Christian constancy — that is, strong, conservative, and yet progressive, men and women. We have too much mushroom Christianity in our churches today — babes desiring to be fed with the milk of the word, and the milk greatly diluted at that, babes not able to take strong meat, and not able to do strong work. In all our churches, with but few exceptions, we have many such members as this. They are not deeply rooted and grounded in the faith, but are chil- dren tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine; they are people whose religious common sense has never been developed, and who are easily offended; they are jerky and uncertain, having no stability or Christian con- stancy; they do not live consistent, satisfactory lives, and cannot be counted upon by the pastor in an emergency or in his absence, but must be frequently coddled and nursed up. In other words, though they have been in the churches for years, yet they are not men and women in Christ, and are not doing the work and filling the places of men and women. What is the mattlr with these people? Why are they still children instead of adults? Of course the greater part of the fault is with them. But so far as the pulpit is concerned, one fault is this: They have not been fed enough on the word, the pure word of God. Too much artificial food has been given them, froth and ambrosia and syllabub and lullaby. They have heard too much sky-scraping, word-painting and thunder — ■ oil of which was manufactured, not out of God's word, but man's word. What they need is the word, that word which Paul commanded Timothy THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 4 9 to preach; and it is expository preaching that will most surely give them the word. It is expository preaching, the plain, earnest elucidation of God's word and thoughts, that will strengthen them in faith, that will correct, settle and develop their lives, that will lead to consecration and con- stancy, that will make them full-grown men and women in Christ Jesus. It is this form of preach- ing, I verily believe, more than any other that will give us strong churches, strong people, and, in the end, greater and more satisfactory results for the Master. It is true that such preaching may not be popular with the masses, nor even with the majority of our church members. But, brethren, it is not popularity that we seek, but the con- sciousness of duty done; it is not wood, hay or stubble that we would build into the temple of the living God, of which Christ Jesus is the foundation, but gold and silver and precious stones. In the midst, then, of our much preaching and many temptations to do otherwise, let us not fail, time and again, to come to God's word to find, not only the text, but also the thought, the mes- sage, the sermon. God will be honored, and His people will be built up in the most holy faith. Again, it is expository preaching more than any other form of preaching, the careful, earnest presentation of the pure word and thoughts of God alone, that will help let meet and counteract the restless and irreverent spirit t)f the age. This is a restless and irreverent age. Time was when men were content to live three score and ten years in seventy years, and to let other men's affairs alone. But that age has passed. Now men must live three score and ten years in forty years, and intermeddle with everything. Men are irreverent now and put the unclean hands upon things both earthly and heavenly. Not only God's word, but even God himself, is spoken of irreverently and flippantly. It is expository preaching, more than 50 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. any other preaching, that is best suited to meet, counteract and overcome this irreverence. Ob- serve, it is expository preaching that exalts, magnifies, dignifies God's word. Let the preacher come frequently before the people with a mes- sage in which all that he has to say is that which God has said, in which the preacher ever exalts the "Thus saith the Lord," and in which message man's thought is ever subservient to God's thought, and it will not be long before men will begin to realize that God's word is a holy thing, a thing not to be lightly and irreverently spoken of, or handled hastily and with unclean hands. And when God's word is exalted, God himself is also honored. When men are taught to respect the word they will inevitably respect the Author and Giver of that word. Let the preacher, ever and anon, with his earnest exposition of God's word, magnify the word and the author of the word, and not only will the preacher himself ehrink from all approach to irreverence, but he will find that those who hear him, even the chil- dren . of this present world, will learn to think of the Holy and Infinite One and his blessed word with increased and becoming humility and reverence. That the ministry is to be blamed somewhat for the prevailing irreverence cannot be denied. The restlessness of the age has affected and in- fected God's people even, and through them it has moved the ministry, and that, alas, too far. The cry has been: "Give us something new, something fresh;" and in our laudable desire to dra\fr men under the influence of the Gospel we have gone too far, we have yielded too much to the pressure. It was possible to gratify this rest- less craving only by the free use of the subject- sermon pure and simple, and into such preaching we have gone, and that beyond measure. Men have used God's word, not as a text, but as a pretext, as something upon which to hang moral disquisitions, as a mere starting point, a figure- THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 51 head, and nothing more. The result is that the irreverence of the age, instead of being repressed, has been but stimulated. Finding that the min- istry treated God's word in this fashion, the world has gone on and treated both author and word alike. Our effort to capture men thus for Christ has failed, and we are reaping that which we have sown. What shall we do to correct our mistake, to remedy the evil? Let us return to the preaching of the Avord, God's word, not ours. The cry of the younger ministry in Germany today is: Enough of Hegel, enough of Kant, enough of philosophy, let us back to Christ. Brethren, let us away from our brilliant subject, surface-preach- ing; let us back to the humble, earnest exposition of God's word. The entrance of His truth, not ours, giveth light. ESCHATOLOGY IN THE PULPIT, ITS USE AND ABUSE. By Rev. Q. C. DAVIS, East Durham, N. C. Eschatology is the doctrine of the last things; and in former times was concerned principally with the four doctrines of Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. But in modern theology it has come to have a wider scope, and includes the doctrines of the Resurrection and the Second Coming of our Lord. In the common understand- ing, Eschatology has to do with everything that concerns our future state. This has grown out of the fact that Eschatology is not an isolated sec- tion of theology, but has logical and practical relations to all other doctrines of religion. The prominent place which the eschatological doctrines have held in our discussions and preach- ing is due to the psychological principle in man that makes him direct all his efforts toward some end in view. Man's final estimate of anything will depend on his conviction as to its ultimate worth. No man will undertake to do a great thing that is to last but for a little while. It is because we are vitally related to an eternal future that the doctrines of Eschatology assume such prominent importance, and command our serious interest. The human mind refuses to rest in known con- tradictions; and consistency has always been de- manded of any scheme of doctrine as an in- dispensable condition of acceptance. Men seek to correlate all their beliefs in such way as to form one harmonious whole. There must of necessity be some guiding and controlling prin- ciple in such rational efforts of men to construct a system of doctrines upon which they can rely with confidence, as a guide to a final blissful consummation. 52 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 5 3 Now the regulative doctrine in theology is the Doctrine of God, or what is termed, Theology Proper. That is to say, our doctrine of God will determine for us all the other doctrines of theo- logy. Or in other words, what we believe about God will determine what we believe about every- thing else concerned with religion. Denominations, sects and schisms are organized around their respective conceptions of God. The Unitarian is what he is because of w T hat he thinks God is. He believes the Unity of God to be such that it forbids any such Trinitarian ex- planation as Evangelical denominations hold. He at first appealed to the New Testament to sup- port his contention. But when a candid and more careful interpretation showed that New Testa- ment writers believed and taught a Trinitarian conception of the Godhead, the Unitarian prompt- ly disowned the New Testament as an infallible guide in matters of faith and practice, and modi- fied his doctrine of inspiration to correspond thereto. The Universalist so emphasizes the benevolence and mercy of God that he underestimates God's justice and His hatred of sin. God is so com- passionate and complacent toward all His moral creatures that He cannot punish eternally the im- penitent sinner. A light estimate of the exceed- ing sinfulness of sin follows; and a belief in the vicarious sacrifice of Christ becomes impossible. Christ's death has only a moral influence. God will restore all; and will brush aside all other considerations in order to do so. The Presbyterian belief in God's sovereignty is such that nothing can thwart His divine and eternal purpose. This is something so empha- sized as to make the deity seem arbitary; and to impair the proper freedom of man, as well as to make man despair of acceptable effort, since it has all been predetermined for him. The Methodist's view of God's relation to His moral creation sometimes causes him to deny om- 54 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. niscience to the Creator, and say that God can- not certainly know what a free moral agent will do. Hence the Lord appeals to men to accept Him, and waits to learn what the outcome will be. This emphasis on man's freedom accords to man some discretionary authority which would be denied him under different conceptions of God's nature. The Quaker expects from God that "inner light," which often takes precedence over the light of Holy Scripture. The next step was inevitable: the inner light became the great light, and super- seded the authority of Christ Himself; and the Hicksite heresy, denying the deity of Christ, fol- lowed as a logical sequence. The Roman Catholic doctrine of God accounts for that whole system. God appoints vicegerents on the earth and clothes them with plenary authority. Hence the Pope, with the whole sys- tem of confessions, absolutions and indulgencies; of penance, purgatory and masses; of prayer to and for the dead, the treasury of merit and the peculiar Catholic doctrine of the atonement. Paschasius Radbertus began his argument for Transubstantiation with an appeal to the omni- potence of God. And the Baptist is what he is because of his doctrine of God. The Lordship of Christ is his controlling doctrine. He believed that God gave Christ "to be head over all things to the church," and "seated Him far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named." — Eph. 1:21-22. Hence Christ's will be- comes absolute law to us. Many others have thought they might modify His commands in be- half of a more agreeable convenience; or in the interests of higher efficiency. But with Baptists unflinching loyalty to the will of our Lord is the highest conception of duty. We sometimes hear it said that we all have the one Lord and the one faith; and all that we need now to make us all THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 5 5 one is the one baptism. But we have never yet had, in the strictest sense, the one Lord. When the good time shall come that we all have the one Lord, then the one faith and the one baptism will speedily follow. Many a man has been made a Baptist by a sort of military respect for the commands of Christ. I. Abuse of Eschatology in the Pulpit. It is in the doctrine of Eschatology that the greatest effects of the doctrine of God are seen, Logical deductions from the doctrine of God will often lead astray, because we are dealing with the element of the infinite. Inferences, appar- ently legitimate, drawn from the infinite attri- butes of God, are often contradictory. For ex- ample: deductions from the doctrines of the justice and mercy of God. The trouble is that we do not know what the infinite is. God is certainly infinite in His attributes; but these infinite attri- butes are not in infinite activity. This is clearly seen in respect to God's omnipotence. God sure- ly has power in the physical universe; yet how graciously restrained are its operations, Should He turn loose His omnipotence in unrestrained intensity upon the physical universe the end could be nothing less than chaos. But whatever our doctrine of God, whence de- rived, or how formed, it becomes our controlling belief; and we strive to correlate all other doc- trines to it. The first abuse of Eschatology in the pulpit comes from unwarranted inferences and speculation as to what God will, or will not do. Our own guesses at truth are sometimes put forth as undoubted verity. Thoughtful hearers see their inconclusiveness, and are thus driven away from the truth. Nothing is taught unless it is emphasized. But eschatological doctrines are often over em- phasized until the just proportions of truth are lost, and men revolt. Unitarianism in New Eng- 56 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. land was the direct result of the over emphasis of Calvinism. The answer to Jonathan Edwards was Ralph Waldo Emerson, Theodore Parker, and Wm. E. Channing. The spirit in which doctrines of final things is preached is of great importance. More care is, perhaps, needed just here than in preaching on any other Christian themes: for the emotions are stirred more profoundly by the doctrines of Eschatology than by any other; and if men dis- sent from them, their feelings are more intense. There is something in human nature which makes one respond in kind to the spirit with which a truth is presented. While one should never preach in a spirit which would seem to apologize in the least for preaching the truth at all, yet the most solemn truths may be presented in such intolerant manner as to cause the hearers to wish for some way in which to escape their conclu- sions. No set of truths requires such consum- mate wisdom on the part of the preacher in preaching them as those that have to do with the final destiny of men. A pronounced abuse of the doctrines of Escha- tology in our times is the tendency not to preach them at all, except as incidentally done in our revival efforts. This is due, perhaps in part at least, to the fact that this is an exceedingly prac- tical age. Men, both in and out of the church, are demanding visible, practical results from Christianity. This leads us to lay stress on doing things. As a result, Christianity has never been so altruistic, philanthropic, as now. Social Ser- vice as a science, and as a pursuit, has arisen, and is demanding the right of way. It is calling upon Christianity to make its beneficent results more apparent and powerful here and now in every condition and relationship of men. In some instances this takes an extreme form. Not long since a theological student in one of our Theological Seminaries, in his graduating address, declared that the gospel of the future would not TPTE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 57 be so much a salvation from hell, as a salvation from earthly ills. Social Service has most prob- ably come to stay, and very properly so: for it is capable of rendering a signal service to the Kingdom of God. We should bid it God speed, and lend it our hearty co-operation. But we must not lose the true doctrinal perspective. To do so will be disastrous. Men will never be content to be good, and do good simply, without any reference to anything beyond the grave. They must have some rational explanation of the obli- gations laid upon them; and are ever asking what they may hope as a result of the faithful performance of their Christian duties. Kant's Categorical Imperatives are always operative. When men have asked: "What can I know? What ought I to do?" they are sure to ask: "What may I hope?" And that is right. It is the intention of the Creator and the Redeemer. Peter expressed the universal question of man when he asked the Saviour: "What shall we have then?" And a part of the L#ord's answer was: "In the world to come eternal life." — an escha- tological reward. Failure to give the doctrines of Eschatology their proper prominence in the pulpit, will result in their being discussed everywhere else, and by everybody else, save those whose proper business it is to discuss them; and in the very place, above all others, where they should be discussed. This very condition ponfronts us now; and the pro- paganda of Russellism is becoming increasingly insistent. Russellism is symptomatic. It signi- fies that Eschatology has not receievd its just meed of pulpit treatment in evangelical pulpits. Russellism is insidious in its make up and its methods. It is a compound of ancient discarded heresies. The author's attempt to escape the logical conclusions of evangelical theology, and the evident teachings of Scripture, takes many forms: 58 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 1. All who have not heard the gospel in this life, such as the heathen; and all who have not had a fair chance in this world (and no one has had a fair chance unless he has heard Russellism fully preached) will be given another opportunity in the Millennial Age — Second Probationisni. 2. Immortality is conditional, not natural. It is given to those only who accept Christ. Hence — 3. The wicked who persist in rejection will be annihilated. God will mercifully put the sinner out of his misery. 4. The death of Christ, was not a vicarious sacrifice, but only a ransom. 5. Christ is divine, but not deity in the evangelical sense of the word. 6. Organized Christianity is the result of Reman Catholicism. Hence local churches are unscriptural. These and other tenets of Russellism flourish most where Eschatology is most neglected in the pulpit. II. The Use of Eschatology in the Pulpit. The best time to preach on Eschatological themes is not after some peripatetic propagandist has come along and caused a defection in your congregation. It must be done then; of course, as a matter of self defense; else those affected will think your silence is an .admission of the truth of the strange doctrines which they have heard; and others will be carried away also. You can- not help but preach about those things then. But the result will be far less satisfactory than if preached as you would preach on Missions, Christian Education, Faith and Repentance and such subjects. Those affected will naturally sus- pect that your preaching is not primarily in the interest of truth, but only an effort to hold them to your church. The doctrines of Eschatology should be preached as regularly and as consistently as other THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 59 truths of revelation. The people will thus become grounded in the truth, and cannot be easily led astray on these things. Of course there will be someone now and then who will think that the only way to be smart is to be different from other people. You need not pay much attention to him. He will not do much harm to others. It is the man with serious convictions, and serious purpose, who works harm when he goes astray on false doctrines. The great reformations and revivals have been accomplished by preaching on Eschatological themes. The burden of Peter's sermon at Pente- cost was the Resurrection of Christ with its momentous consequences. Paul on Mar's Hill preached "Jesus and the Resurrection," and his appeal was to repent because God had appointed a day of Judgment, and a Judge, when He would judge the world in righteousness. The Lutheran Reformation began when Luther attacked Tetzel's preaching of indulgences. When Unitarianism swept New England it carried away every Congregational church in Boston but two. But not a single Baptist church departed from the faith. The Baptists were still preaching the old evangelical doctrines of Eschatology. In the Apostolic age the doctrine of the Resur- rection was a revival theme. Do you ever hear that as the subject of a revival message now? It is sometimes done. Once when walking down the street in Little Rock, Ark., I heard a Salvation Army drum a little way ahead. As I drew near the drum ceased beating, and I saw a woman stand up on a small box, and she said: "Friends, five years ago I was a lost sinner — a woman of the street. One night I felt that life was not worth while; and I thought it would be best to put an end to life, and thus end it all. I was so miserable I knew not what to do; and I walked along the street wretched, broken hearted, without home, or friends. As I passed the Salvation Army 6 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. headquarters they were holding a meeting; and I heard some one say: "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." I stopped and listened. Then I slipped in and sat down near the door. Presently some- one came and asked me to give my heart to Jesus. I said I was too great a sinner, and could not hold out if I tried. And I was told that Jesus could save to the uttermost all who would come to Him; and He would keep me saved. Finally I confessed Him as my Saviour. And Oh! He not only saved me, but by His -blessed power He just keeps me every day, and helps me to serve Him." That is the real doctrine of the Resurrection. The risen Saviour, ever living, with His everlast- ing power, saving His people, and keeping them saved. Preach it! It is a thousand times more effective than speculating on the composition and appearance of the resurrection body; and wonder- ing whether we shall have hair forty feet long. Eschatology has always furnished the great re- vival themes, and when they are stated in solemn seriousness, with unmistakable kindness, they seldom fail to impress profoundly. "I think his soul is lost," said Judson of a noted Burman who had just died. "Why?" asked the Burman's friend. "Because he was not a believer in Christ," was the reply. Once a young pastor had another pastor to help in a revival. The visiting pastor preached all through the series on God's love and mercy, and dwelt upon His abounding goodness to all. No visible results followed. When he had gone the young pastor thought of a text which he had heard a preacher use once long ago, when the young pastor was a boy: "The wicked shall be driven away in his wickedness," and he preached from that text. He told the people of the awful wrath of God that awaited the impenitent, and a great number turned to the Lord that night. But one should preach those truths only in the THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 61 tenderest manner. Remember the example of our Lord. He wailed aloud over Jerusalem, looking down at the city through his tears, and foreseeing the coming dreadful doom. I have often been asked as have other pastors to preach on Heavenly Recognition, and blessed experiences have come to me through preaching it. There were two grandmothers in a congrega- tion that were not members of the church. Each of them had recently lost a daughter. At the close of the sermon I asked the quartette to sing a little song, I had prepared, to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. When they had sung the stanza: — "Our hearts were breaking and we wept, When last we saw them here; But love has followed them beyond, And we shall know them there," those two grandmothers came forward and con- fessed Christ. One day I was out hunting with a man who was past forty years of age, and had never confessed Christ. He had apparently no interest in religion. He had a brother who had been a pastor for ten years, and he had never heard him preach. We stopped at a spring to get some water, and to rest. He began to talk about his father who had died. He was fond of his father, and was speak- ing tenderly about him. He said to me, "Do you think we shall know each other in the other world?" I said "Yes, if you prepare to go where your father is." Then began to sing softly that sweet old hymn: "Shall we meet beyond the river, where the surges cease to roll?" With the tears streaming down his face he stretched forth his hand to me and said: "Brother Davis, I do want to meet him in that better land. Pray for me that I may prepare to go there too." He con- fessed the Saviour, and is now a deacon in his church. Beloved brethren, preach the doctrines of 62 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. Eschatology, for the Lord Jesus preached them. The rich man lifted up his eyes in torment; and Lazarus was comforted in Abraham's bosom. The unprofitable servant was cast into the outer dark- ness, where there was wailing and gnashing of teeth; and the penitent thief went with Christ that day from the cross to the Paradise of rest. A VOICE FROM THE PEW. By T. M. PITTMAN, Esq., Henderson, N. C. Littleton closes a paragraph in his Institutes on the law of English land tenure with "etc." which "etc." Lord Coke says "embraceth many things." Of like inclusion is the topic just an- nounced. The good preacher who arranged the program was minded that the lawyer should not get beyond his subject. I acknowledge his suc- cess. There is no escape but by leaving the church or taking to the pulpit. At the outset and entirely within the limits I desire to make acknowledgment of my personal debt to the ministry. Whatever good there is in my life is largely due to their personality and teachings. I have never had such a fitting oc- casion for this acknowledgement. I am grate- ful for the oppoi tunity. I come directly to the matter in hand. I do not presume to play the part of critic. It is en- tirely possible, however, that some things may be seen at a different angle from the pew than is presented to the pulpit. It is also true that the lights and shadows are not the same upon every pew. I speak with deference. Students of secular periodical literature receive two sharp suggestions: 1. The large space given to the discussion of religion, both in its philosophical and its practi- cal aspects, suggests a well-sustained public inter- est in this subject. 2. The insistent claim of a falling off in at- tendance upon religious services, if true, indicates as certainly a lack of public interest in our man- ner of presenting that subject. Quite likely the defection is exaggerated, yet it is a lamentable fact that many who ought to be reached by the preaching of the gospel and 63 64 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. the ministry of the churches are apparently be- yond their influence, and the voice of church and preacher is without authority to many who even profess to walk our way. As illustrative of this same divergent attitude, it is said that at a great socialistic gathering every reference to Christian churches was received with sneers and hisses, but that there was no hostile demonstra- tion at any mention of the name of Jesus. I believe it was Dr. Austin Phelps who gave expression to one of the most profound and im- pressive utterances of the last century. It was this: "A false principle wrought into real life always works itself out in disaster." The atti- tude of the world today challenges our position. It denies that we are sounding the gospel mes- sage with a clear and true note. George W. Cable wrote some years ago: "Clear thought, clear understanding and clear statement are the demands of the hour." And such is the urgent demand of Christianity today. I have an impression — I will state it stronger — a conviction — that there are conditions existing with us that tend to weaken our message: A False Note. Our churches and ministry are largely charac- terized by earnestness and zeal for moral and social reforms. I have felt for a long time that there lacked the clear note of conviction concern- ing God and His relation to man. Every moral and social faddist appears to think the church and the ministry designed for exploiting his peculiar fad, and because many of the ends in view appear to be good, many of our ministers feel impelled to stay the great work to which they are called and respond to such demands. The New York Times discussed in a recent editorial the campaign instituted by the Bishop of London against immorality in the theater, and charac- terized it as "Clearly undertaking to cure a malady by doctoring the symptoms." The editor THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 65 then went to the heart of the matter, declaring: "There is plenty for the church to do. The frame of mind and habit of thought . . . must be attacked and cured." There may have been a time when "reform" and "reformer" were decent words to address to serious minded, thoughtful men, but it has hardly been so in our day. Li Hung Chang, the noted Chinese statesman and scholar, spoke out of a full heart when he said, "I hate a profes- sional reformer as I hate a nagging woman; each has the idea that the other party was not en- dowed with even a place for brains, to say nothing of possessing any mentality." Let us understand that Christianity is of Christ and that no reform is comparable to that new life of which He is heart and soul. Another false note is a tendency to magnify the mechanism of religion and to minimize Christ. In the careless, superficial terminology, now current, the various agencies are often given a vital emphasis. The one mechanism of the New Testament, if such speech be permissible, is that of holding up Christ. "And I if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto me." Orderly methods and systems of co-operation are convenient and useful. Only let us not hide Christ behind the machinery upon which we un- dertake to lift Him up. A Distorted Vision. There is a tendency to pettiness in dealing with religious thought and life. The thought of the world is large, and small things are not impres- sive. If God is not greater than our wizards of finance and invention, if heaven surpass not the homes of our rich neighbors or our modern city, where is the appeal of God and heaven? Is our comprehension of God as large as the banker's comprehension of finance, or our view of God's economics as comprehensive as corporations executives have of business organization? As 66 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. we face these questions we must recognize the fact that we are making cheap and common the most profound, vital things of the universe. The world is making great men in the fields of thought and achievement. We are making petty men, and wonder why we do not compel the world's great thinkers and doers to join us. The world has no time for petty things except as they serve to amuse its idle moments. Religion is a failure as an entertainment, yet we urge entertainment as the feature of our public services. Attractive houses, attractive music, attractive preaching, and attractive hours are emphasized, and we per- suade men that everything in religion waits upon their taste, comfort, convenience and approval. Who ever hears of an invitation to one of our great churches urged upon the ground that we will have a very earnest and faithful presentation of the gos- pel? What is the result? Why men take us at our own valuation and leave us alone, not because they are irreligious or immoral, but because they do not find us worth while. Let us remember that it is a question of values. What is the greatest thing in the world? Religion was never designed to run with the currents of the world, but counter to them — to cross, and divert and control them. It is a compelling power. Light minds are pleased with trifles, but strong men are not won that way. A strong, clear comprehension of the eternal verities, and a strong, clear presentation of them is the demand of the hour. I may only mention as I pass from this thought the same tendency in the common use of charac- terless hymns, and the familiar address toward God. It may be well to remember that even those who leaned on Jesus' bosom called him "Lord" and "Master," and though full of love and tenderness He bore himself with dignity and "spake as one having authority." Better ac- quaintance with the Scriptures would relieve this situation. Green in the History of the English People says: "Even to common minds familiarity THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 6 7 with grand poetic imagery in prophet and apo- calypse gave a loftiness and ardor of expression that with all its tendency to exaggeration and bombast we may prefer to the slipshod vulgar- isms of today." Sapping the Foundations. There is a noticeable tendency to ignore the great doctrines of Christianity — the fundamental, vital truths concerning God. redemption, sin and the forgiveness of sin, regeneration. Strong Christian character apart from positive convic- tions of the truth is out of the question. Unfor- tunately our views of what constitutes Christian character are not always clear. Abou Ben Adhem may be good poetry, but is poor theology. Hav- ing a decent character and being a kind neigh- bor does not make one a Christian. I recall a revival meeting invitation something like this: "If you have made up your mind to make your life subject to God's will come forward and unite with the church." This seems to make it wholly a matter for the individual. He may be saved, unsaved, saved again and so on indefinitely, while God looks on without any part in it. It is one way of adding to the church membership but a little suggestive of the conversation between an Eng- lish and a French surgeon about a very difficult and hazardous operation. The Englishman, in reply to the other's inquiry, said he had performed the operation five times, succeeding four times. Why I have performed it a hundred times said the Frenchman. With what success? he was asked. "Oh, the patients all died, but the opera- tion was brilliant." Departure From Principle. The last of these tendencies to which I shall refer is the subversion of the old Baptist prin- ciple of the Separation of Church and State. In the days of our weakness and struggle for exist- 68 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. ence we urged this principle with might and main. We won out. Now that we have waxed great and are as the sands of the sea for multi- tude, and our banner waves triumphantly to the uttermost parts of the earth, we are placing our- selves alongside the Church of England and the Church of Rome as offenders against this princi- ple — with the difference that they have never ad- mitted it as a principle at all, while we have been its peculiar champions. In North Carolina during the past few years the churches have repeatedly meddled with the law-making prerogative of the State in respect of Sunday laws, divorce, public education, child labor, liquor dispensaries and prohibition. I believe our Baptist churches took part in all or nearly all these questions. Our leaders went so far in political bargaining in at least one instance that we are ashamed to have it mentioned. A Virginia Baptist Association is re- ported to have recently approved President Wil- son's Mexican policy, and the end is not yet in sight. The only rift in the cloud is the action of Secretary Johnston, Dr. Vann and Dr. Poteat op- posing a constitutional amendment in respect of the use of the Bible in our public schools, and many of our brethren have scarcely recovered yet from the shock and surprise of this recurrence to sound principle. The life of Christianity is spiritual; its power is ethical. Within the realm of the spiritual and the ethical it is supreme. Beyond any other power or influence it lays hold upon the individ- ual and adjusts him to every environment of life. It makes him a loyal citizen of pagan Rome and of Christian America. Whether he is bond or free, his spirit is refined and his character en- nobled. It overshadows all human greatness and illuminates the dark places of earth. God is its one source, its appeal is the commanding per- sonality of Jesus and its weapons are spiritual — "Not by might nor by power but My spirit, saith the Lord." Man's life is complex. His relations THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 69 vary. The church, the state, the family, each within its own province is entitled to his al- legiance and his best individual thought and serA'ice. It was under a pagan ruler that Christ said: "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's." The law of the state is not the absolute, ideal right, but experimental and political, having reference to the state of society and public opin- ion and changing as these change. The law does not appeal to the conscience or moral conscious- ness of a man. It is not persuasive, it is the ex- ercise of authority and force. It bends and con- trols, and punishes, and destroys men. The law of Christ is ideal. It is absolutely right. It works upon the life and conscience. There can be no bad communities composed of good men. Good men will make good citizens, good neighbors and good states with good laws. The work of the churches is to make good men, so that they shall make the world good through the great principles of right and goodness which are from God. It is distressing to see Christian ministers giving up the fight just as the victory is won. Everywhere men of the world are confess- ing that secular laws are impotent to deal with the great moral wrongs of society. Guizot in his profound discussion of the History of Civili- zation, bases it upon two facts — the melioration of the inward man and the melioration of his external condition. Speaking of Christianity in this connection, he says: "Christianity was in no way addressed to the social condition of man; it distinctly disclaimed all interference with it. It commanded the slave to obey his master. It attacked none of the great evils, none of the gross acts of injustice, by which the social system of that day was disfigured; yet who but will ac- knowledge that Christianity has been one of the greatest promoters of civilization? And where- fore? Because it has changed the interior condi- tion of man, his opinions, his sentiments: because 70 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. it has regenerated his moral and intellectual character." God's rule is over the hearts and consciences of men, and when our churches seek to influence^ the outward lives of men except through their inward spirits, they violate the vital principle of Christianity. It is no justification or excuse that we claim to be doing good. So did Saul of Tarsus claim and so did the judges of the In- quisition, so do Catholics today when they ask public funds for their schools and so does the Church of England in its grasp of public education in England. Who shall judge us? When Charles Lee, who at least compromised himself with the British, sought the destruction of Arnold for his treachery, one wrote something like this — "It argues the effrontery of baseness for one man to hunt another to his death for that which his own hand has been raised to do." How dare we rebuke the presumption of others in doing what we are also trying to do? Before passing from this I wish it to be clearly understood that I am not opposing the laws which so many brethren would have the churches urge. As an individual and a citizen I am giving nearly all of them my hearty support, and recognize the propriety of every other man doing the same. Constructive Work. But I must not detain you, and close with one further thought — and that is to propose some- thing better than the petty, weak, mischievous things of which I have been speaking. And there is something better, something real and vital. Our God is supreme. He rules the universe — power and majesty and riches are in His hands. His plans for the Kingdom are constructive, and the first step in the Christian program is a new life — "Ye must be born again." Mr. Green in his History of the English People, makes this statement of the Calvinist thought: "But religion in its deepest and innermost sense THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 71 had to do not with churches but with the individ- ual soul." Our churches must realize that they are dealing with souls, making thought, convic- tion, character, manhood — after the model of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the constructive work of making men who will deal righteously, and there- fore wisely, in every relation and every situation. This is the work that brought the Son of God to the sublimest sacrifice the world has ever wit- nessed. It is the work which has made possible every notable achievement of civilization. Oh the shame of a man called to the Christian mini- stry and to such a work turning aside to the slave- driving career of a reformer! A notable book just from the press furnishes an intensely interesting view of the power of the Gospel apart from any reformatory attach- ments. I refer to the memoir of Li Hung Chang, the Chinese scholar and statesman. He was one of the most conspicuous figures in the history of the last century. The book shows him in early life hating the Christians and desiring their ruin. A little later he becomes slightly more tolerant, then he wishes that they might have entire free- dom. Still later he compares the doctrines of Christ with the teachings of Confucius and de- clares that if he lived in America or Europe he would wish to be known as a Christian. As a final touch we find him admitting two poor Chris- tians to audience and when they fall into earnest prayer for him we see him deeply moved and ap- preciative of their concern for him and dismissing them with kindness. As we read this record a great light comes to us giving a clearer insight into re- cent conditions in China than could possibly come to us in any report from the missionaries. The silent influence upon the inner life of the peo- ple, heart speaking to heart, that was construc- tive work and it was effective. Last September Lord Haldane, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain in a notable address before the American Bar Association on Higher Nationality 72 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. said: "But the guide to which the citizen mostly looks is just the standard recognized by the community, a community made up mainly of those fellow-citizens whose good opinion he re- spects and desires to have. He has everywhere round him an object lesson in the conduct of decent people towards each other and towards the community to which they belong, without such conduct and the restraints which it im- poses there could be no tolerable social life, and real freedom from interference would not be en- joyed. It is the instinctive sense of what to do and what not to do in daily life and behavior that is the source of liberty and ease." It must be then that the influence which sets these stand- ards is the influence which makes society and the life of the people, and our great work is to set up the standards of Christ that men shall be drawn by the truth and the truth shall make them free. Columbia University has a greater number of students than any other American University, and its financial resources amount to $55,000,000, yet. Presilent Butler fervently protests against the current view that Columbia can claim prece- dence on account of the great number brought under the influence of the university. He says: "The real test and measure of a university's efficiency are not the number of students en- rolled, the size of its endowment, or the mag- nificence of its physical equipment. The true test and measure are to be found in the pro- ductive scholarship of the university's teachers and in the quality of the men and women who go out with the stamp of the university's ap- proval upon them." The social life of Athens "was such that none but very able men could take any pleasure in it; on the other hand, she offered attractions such as men of the highest ability and culture could find in no other city. And in the century between 530 and 430 B.C., she produced four- THE PREACHING POP, TO-DAY. 73 reen men who have not been equalled by any nation in any century of the world's history. In Athens was an environment of intellectual great- ness fruitful of intellectual products, forcing upon us the thought that our social and com- munity life must have its legitimate fruitage and such attractive and repulsive power a,s shall keep steady the development of that community in harmony with its dominant principle or idea. There is also an emphasis of the thought so forcefully presented by John Stuart Mill: "Sud- den effects in history are generally superficial. Causes which go deep down into the roots of future events produce the most serious parts of their effect only slow T ly." So it is borne upon us that thoughtful men are awaking to the idea that everything de- pends upon the real man — the inward man. The constructive work of Christianity build- ing upon the new life is to create "the frame of mind and habit of thought" consonant with the spirit and teaching of God, and, as a little leaven working in the loaf bread, make the kingdoms of this world the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ. Lowell expresses something of the thought that I have been urging: BE NOBLE! and the nobleness that lies In other men, sleeping, but never dead, Will rise in majesty to meet thine own: Then wilt thou see it gleam in many eyes, Then will pure light around thy path be shed, And thou wilt never more be sad and lone?" THE SERVICE OF THE COUNTRY CHURCH. By S. Z. BATTEN, D.D., Philadelphia. Several years ago thinking men became im- pressed with the importance of preserving the Adirondack forests in the State of New York. It was explained that the preservation of the forests was necessary in order to maintain the proper flow of water in the Hudson river. This river the great commercial highway of the state, fur- nishes power for countless mills and factories and adds incalculably to the wealth of the people. Yet this river was in danger of losing its prestige and its power. Up among the hills and mountains are the great trees with their countless leaves that shade the ground and keep it moist and cool. On every hillside and in every valley are little bub- bling springs; from each spring a narrow thread of silver goes sparkling down over stones and under moss; now it is met by another thread of silvery water; on they go together, lost in one another's life; now the thread grows into a rill; the rill swells into a brook, the brook expands in- to a creek, the creek widens out into the majestic and beautiful river. The cutting off of the for- ests meant the drying up of those numberless springs far away in the mountains; and the dry- ing up of those springs meant the dwindling of the mighty river. Dry up the springs, cut off the head waters, and the river will dwindle and nar- row. Which thing is an allegory. What the thousands of springs far away in the mountains are to the Hudson River that the country churches are to the mighty river of Christian influence flowing through our land. Cut off the head waters, let the country churches die, and the city churches will dwindle and the whole cause of Christ will feel the effect. The question of the country church is one of the most 74 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 75 vital questions facing us at this hour. In a large sense the tide of city life rises or falls with the rise or fall of the country church. Thus far the question of the country church has been almost wholly neglected; for a generation and more the attention of man has been directed to the city church and its problem. We have many volumes dealing with the Social Problem, but these have dealt almost exclusively with city life and city conditions. In these latter days we have heard much of Social Service, and thus far nearly all of the books relating to this important department of work have dealt with the city and its needs. But this is only one half of the problem; in fact the question of the city is largely the question of the country. Did time permit I could show from his- tory that nations have been strong or weak, they have grown or they have decayed according to the condition of the country districts. The cities grew at the expense of the country; with the pas- sing away of the sturdy patriotic yeoman class and the decline of the rural districts there came a decline of the very nation itself. Rome began to die in the country before it began to die in the city; the decline of the country caused the decline of Rome. If America loses its sturdy, patriotic, pure hearted and Christian rural population, it will go to the rubbish heap of history with Baby- lon and Rome. However, I am not dealing with history but with life today, and so I cannot pur- sue this inquiry any further. 1. The Condition of the Country Church. It is not necessary for me to quote statistics with reference to the country churches. But in the past few years at least ten thousand country churches have died in our land, and probably twice as many today are in a weak and dying state. What are the conditions? And what are the causes? Throughout the world there is a most marked 7fi THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. movement today: It is the drift toward the city. It is sometimes supposed that this is an American phenomenon, but as a matter of fact it is a world-wide movement. London is over two thousand years old, but four-fifths of its growth belongs to the nineteenth century. Prom 18 50 to IS 90 Berlin grew faster than New York City. Rome has increased in population more than fifty per cent, since 1890. The cities are growing more rapidly than the country; in many cases they are growing at the expense of the country. In nearly every state the rural population is de- creasing; east and west we observe the same movement, in the older and in the newer states. In the state of Iowa there are ninety-nine coun- ties; of these, seventy-one counties have de- creased in population during the past decade. The counties showing any gains are those with cities; the counties without larger towns or cities showed a decrease. With this shifting of population there has come a change in the population itself. A generation ago in all of our states the rural population as a rule was American Protestant, church going and homogeneous. Today in many sections the popu- lation is largely foreign, Catholic or nothing, non- church going and heterogeneous. The Americans have gone and the Hungarians, the Bohemians, the Italians, the Germans and Russians have taken their places. I know a farming district in New Jersey where, when I was a boy, nearly every farmer owned his farm and practically every fam- ily attended church regularly. I have seen the old church yard in the village filled with farmers' teams on a Sunday morning. But a total change has passed over the whole section. Some of the older farmers are dead; others have moved into town; nine-tenths of the young people have left the farms. Today these farms are rented out to a poorer and inferior class of tenants, and the church yard is empty Sunday morning. Another thing; with this change in the popu- THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 7 7 lation of the rural districts there has come a change quite as significant in the ownership of the farms. A generation ago as a rule the farms were owned by the men who cultivated them. Today this has changed or it is fast changing. Some time ago I was discussing this question with a banker in an Iowa town of some five thou- sand population. He showed me how in the past few years men have bought up the farms in the neighborhood so that today we find many men owning from five hundred to two thousand acres. The owners of the large farms live in the town; where once we had half a dozen farmers living on their own farms we now have one land pro- prietor with one or two tenant families. This explains in part two things: the change in the population and the decrease in the rural popula- tion. The people are leaving the country and the country towns. For a generation and more there has been a steady stream of young life flowing from the country into the cities. The more am- bitious and energetic young people are leaving the country for the city. Several causes, some ex- pulsive so far as the country is concerned, some attractive so far as the city is concerned, have contributed to this result. The more active and capable have left the country because they tire of its monotony; because they find few opportu- nities for progress; because they have the feeling that the country is crude and inferior. They have gone into the cities because they believed the cities offered larger opportunity and richer prizes; because they wanted to be in the midst of life and its movements; because they had the no- tion that the city represented a higher type of civi- lization. The consequence is that the country is drained of the more active and energetic young people, the very people that are so greatly needed in. the country at this time. Those who remain are often the less ambitious and capable who would go if they had the courage and the chance. 78 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. The results of all these changes are seen in a hundred thousand rural communities all over the land. The people in the country today lack energy and push and initiative. I have found country towns that were as dead as a graveyard. Everybody seems to have gone to sleep. Nobody seems to care a whit for the common welfare. How such people keep out of mischief is a mys- tery to me. As a matter of fact the young peo- ple find mischief and plenty of it. I was born on a farm in New Jersey and grew up in Philadel- phia. I have been pastor in a country village and I have been pastor in Philadelphia and New York and Lincoln. And I say deliberately that I had rather bring up a family of children in the large city than in the average cross roads village. Again, the results of the changes are seen in hundreds of country churches all over the land. The churches are small and the workers are few. There are churches with seventy-five members that can not muster half a dozen reliable men. Were it not for the good women many of these churches would die within a year. As a matter of fact many of the country churches are largely manned by women. There are country churches, plenty of them, in which all of the available men are deacons and all of the working men are wo- men. At best there is a sad lack of male mem- bers and of these too few can be counted upon to do effective church work. Many of these churches are living at a poor dying rate; some of them are as dead as they ever will be. The men in the country towns in many parts of our coun- try have largely ceased to attend church. They have caught the city fever and it has affected their church going. The country churches today find it harder and ever harder to secure suitable pastors. Several causes have combined and contributed to turn young men aAvay from the country pastorate. One is the inadequate support that is offered the country pastor. Young men leaving the Semi- THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 79 nary are somewhat reluctant to enter the pastor- ate of the country church. And sometimes it must be confessed there are reasons for this re- luctance. The young man knows that in the country his salary will be small at the best; if the Lord will keep him humble the people can keep him poor. He needs books and current literature, especially during the early years of his ministry. If he goes without books and magazines he misses the intellectual quickening and broadening of vision that the age demands. Besides his members are usually widely scattered. He often has two or three preaching stations at a distance. A vast amount of time must be spent on the road. A funeral will sometimes con- sume a whole day. His study is neglected and he ceases to advance. Thus to enter a country pastorate at the beginning often means to doom oneself for life. There was once a country pastor that received the munificent salary of $500 a year. Out of this sum he paid house rent and supported a wife and child. By careful management a few dollars were saved for books and magazines. But a good deacon one day insinuated that if the pas- tor had so much money to spend for books it was possible for him to preach on a smaller salary. That particular deacon is dead now, but members of his tribe remain. There is one other factor which complicates the problem, and that is the number of churches in a rural community. There are many commu- nities east and west that are sadly overchurched. I know a town of twenty-two hundred people with thirteen churches. I know another town of twenty-eight hundred people and eighteen churches. What is the result? All the churches are. weak and struggling; half of them are pastor- less much of the time. The struggle for existence is so keen that no church has any time or dispo- sition to co-operate with its neighbors in commu- nity betterment. No wonder that earnest young men with red rich blood and a life to invest SO THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. should give such fields a wide berth. It is sim- ply a waste of time for eighteen trained and de- veloped pastors to spend their time with eigh- teen churches in a town of twenty-eight hundred people. All over the land we hear the complaint that men have dropped out of the churches and are not found in the congregations. This is the condition in the cities and it is even more markedly so in the country. In many country towns the proportion of church going men is pitifully small, and young men are especially con- spicuous by their absence. But after all I do not see how the men can be so severely censured. The principal of the high school receives from $800 to $1500 salary, while the pastor of the church receives from $3 00 to $600 salary. Do you wonder that many of the preachers are weak and untrained men? Do you wonder that many of the men do not derive much edification from the preaching? I realize fully that I am describing conditions in the east, the north and the central west. But the significant thing is this that the drift is mov- ing southward and westward, and in a few years the same conditions may be found here that are found elsewhere. And so I plead with you to know what causes are at work in other parts of the land, and to forestall them here and prevent the same results. Our inquiry thus far has shown us one thing at least. The problem of the country church is not by any means a simple problem; it is a very complex problem, with many factors and ele- ments; in truth it is a part of the whole social problem of our day. The churches are weak and moribund, for one reason because the rural popu- lation is decreasing; the rural population is de- creasing from several causes: young and ener- getic young people are leaving the country be- cause there is nothing to keep them in the coun- try and they are attracted by the city. The rural population is decreasing because the owner- THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 81 ship of the farm is more and more passing into a few hands. The shifting of population today is a part of the process of change and readjustment that is going on all over the world. The prob- lem of the country church is an economic problem. It is a social problem. It is a spiritual problem. The economic base of the rural community has changed, and this means a change in the entire social life: and this affects the spiritual life of the community. I am aware that the picture thus far drawn is somewhat dark. But I am ready to maintain that in its main outline it is a truthful picture. The first thing is for us to know the problem before us, to see it in all its details with unblinking eyes, and to realize what are the features that enter into both the problem and its solution. At any rate there can be no solution of any indefinite and unclear problem. There are many ways of put- ting out a fire, but shutting your eyes is not one of them. We face this problem in confidence and hope for the Christian knows no insoluble prob- lems, to him there are no impossible tasks- Rather every problem is simply a new opportuni- ty. II. The Factors in the Solution. The problem of the country church being a complex problem can never be solved by any one factor alone. One man would tell us that the problem of the country church is a very simple one — it is the problem of Christian evangelism. Give us earnest evangelistic pastors in all of these churches, let them be paid a fair salary and be supported by a loyal and Spirit-filled membership, and the problem will be solved. Yes, and if the sky should fall we might all catch larks. How to to secure these earnest and evangelistic pastors for these churches; how to obtain for them an adequate support; how to develop a loyal and spiritual church membership, is the very problem we have to solve. We cannot have these earnest 82 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. and devoted young men for the ministry unless the country churches can breed such men. And we could not keep these devoted and warm- hearted men in the country pastorates unless we have churches to hold them and they have people to work with. The primary problem we thus see is to have people in the country with whom the pastors can work; the primary problem is the pre- paring of brave and devoted men for country pas- torates. By all means let us emphasize the im- portance of devoted and evangelistic pastors in the country churches. But let us not fail to see that there are certain conditions which will make this consummation possible. Again: The population of the rural districts is changing, and the population is decreasing. Two things we must have as conditions making pos- sible a strong and flourishing country church. We must have an increasing population; and we must have an intelligent and progressive class of peo- ple. The quality of the mass, we have learned, depends upon the quality of its constituents. We cannot have a golden society out of people with leaden instincts. Israel of old learned that it is not easy to make good bricks without straw. The country church is a part of the life of the commu- nity and it rises or falls with the rise or fall of the community itself. To have an intelligent, a progressive and active membership in the country churches we must have an intelligent, progressive and active people in the community. The way to have a better class of people for the country churches is to have a better class of peo- ple in the rural community. To illustrate the meaning of this let us suppose a case: Suppose that in some community the Christian people are better farmers than the non-Christian; that is, they use more intelligent and economic methods in working the soil; they secure larger crops than non-Christian farmers and make more money in the course of years. There is no danger what- ever of the Christians leaving the community; THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 83 there is no danger that either a .non-Christian or a foreign element will populate that community; and there is no danger further that the country church in that community will decline. But sup- pose on the other hand that non-Christian and foreign people are better farmers than the Christ- ians, they use the soil better and obtain a larger yield per acre. In that case it is certain that in the course of years the non-Christian farmers will drive out the Christian farmers. And as a matter of course the country church will wane and die. Suppose further that in certain districts the farmers are careless, and unintelligent, rob- bing the soil, always taking from it and giving nothing back. It is certain that the land will lose its fertility, the population will decline in quality and numbers. And this very process, as you know, is going on in a hundred communities east and west. The old American and Protestant families have left the farms, because they were poor farmers; they had a false estimate of wealth; and so they left the farms. And Canadians -and Italians are taking up these abandoned farms and are working them at a good profit. You know the result so far as the country is concerned. To have the people we need for our churches we must have the kind of people we want in the community. To have an active, progressive and Protestant people for our country churches we must have an active progressive and Protestant people in our rural communities. You say that I am reasoning in a circle: not at all, as you will see^ in a moment. The churches we already have must create the kind of people we want in our communities for our country churches. The prob- lem of the country church is an economic prob- lem, a social and a spiritual problem. Since this is so, our efforts in behalf of the rural community must be economic, social and spiritual. We must in some way inspire our country peo- ple to become better farmers. We must have a more intelligent farming population; we must 84 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. have a more moral farming population so far as the treatment of the soil is concerned; we must teach the farmers how to make the most out of the soil not for today only, but for the next generation as well. My friend Mr. Henry Wallace has declared that the people of this country are "soil robbers," and the charge is none too severe. The only apology the people can offer is that they have sinned unconsciously and in ignorance. The times of ignorance God may wink at, but now He commandeth us to repent and change our ways. The people of this country have been obsessed with a mad desire to make money; if they suc- ceeded in this they were regarded as successful in life. Under the sway of this passion this is what we find: The people of the past generations have abused and robbed the soil; year after year they have cropped it close, ever taking away from the soil and seldom putting anything back: the farm- ers of yesterday have mortgaged the land of the life of tomorrow. In many sections of our coun- try the productive power of the soil is steadily decreasing at an alarming rate. It is needless here to quote authorities and figures; those who are interested in- this question will find some illu- minating material in the published proceedings of the White House Conference of Governors in 1908. This means that the rural population must diminish in number and decrease in quality if this tendency is not checked. The question of the fair and honest use of the soil concerns all of our people. It vitally concerns the country church. If this question does not concern us then nothing concerns us. I realize fully that the country church cannot meet and solve their problem alone. The state has a vital interest in the things that directly affect the life of the people. We must see to it therefore that the state knows its work and then sets about work in an intelligent and ef- fective way. The time is coming when such ques- tions as these will be the first questions considered in our halls of legislation. Some day in the good THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 8 5 future — we hope it may not be for distant— we will stop sending little politicians to our legis- latures and will send citizens who are trained to take a broad view of the general welfare. The state agricultural college can do much in the behalf of a better farming population. Some- thing has been done in the past; more is being attempted to day. But at best only a beginning has been made. Now the results gained by ex- pert study must be given to the people. But after all a larger part of this work must be done by the church itself. The country church must become a centre of intellectual quickening for the whole community. It must awaken in the people an intelligent interest in the life of the community. How far the country churches have been centres of intellectual quickening and com- munity life I hardly dare to discuss. Here and there we may find such a church; but many churches count for little so far as the intellectual life of the community is concerned. A Baptist church, to limit ourselves, should be a company of the most alert, open eyed, intelligent and pro- gressive people in the community. I can under- stand how a Baptist can be an insurgent, but I cannot think of the combination as a Baptist stand-patter. Yet there are country churches — rumor says there are city churches also — that are about the dullest, sleepiest, least progressive, least inspiring places in the community. Xo wonder so many people always associate a sermon with sleep. Dullness is the unpardonable sin of the ministry. There are Baptist preachers standing in Baptist pulpits who are as dead now as they ever can be. Xo wonder the young people pass the country church and look elsewhere for mental life. This is what I mean on this point: the country church must become a community centre of intellectual quickening. It must do something to inspire in the people a more intelligent interest in the work they have to do in the world. The country church has a large mission to ful- 86 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. fil in creating community ideals. "The thoughts men had," said Carlyle, "were the parents of the things men did. Their feelings were the parents of their thoughts." "That which gives life its keynote," says a thoughtful writer, " is not what men think good but what they think best." "Let me make the songs of people and I care not who makes the laws." What the country community needs just now is a new and attractive community ideal. Many communities have no community ideal at all; and so they have no community spirit. There is nothing about the community to awaken in any young soul an enthusiastic love for the place. Many country communities, so the young people think, are very good places to go from. In some way this attitude must be changed and we must teach the people to love their com- munity. We need to develop a civic and com- munity patriotism, in the rank and file of our people. The Jew of old loved Jerusalem above his chief joy; our people must learn to love their community and to live for its welfare. The cre- ation of a town spirit and a community ideal is an important part of the church's work. A church that fails here is failing in a large part of its mission. I do not wonder much that young people with a trace of idealism and an ounce of spunk — and all young people have idealism and spunk till they are frozen out of them — drop out of some churches and leave the country town. Another thing; the country church must teach the people the simple ethics of the good life. "Thou shalt not steal;" that commandment like all the commandments is exceeding broad. I need not take the time showing you the modern ways of stealing; one man may steal by robbing a store; and another may steal by a monopoly price. One man may be a robber by being a porch-climber; and another may be a robber by selling an adul- terated food. One man may rob a state by loot- ing its treasury vaults; and another may rob a people by robbing the soil. "Thou shalt love thy THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 87 neighbor as thyself." This commandment is al- so exceeding broad. We may love our neighbors by keeping our chickens in our own garden. We may love our neighbors by seeking the salvation of his soul. We may love our neighbors by keep- ing the weeds trimmed in our fence corners. And we may love our neighbors by providing that those who come after us shall have a good soil to culti- vate. Many people have an idea that the com- mandments of God have little to do with com- mon everyday things. They do not make the con- nection between the commandment and their daily actions. Some people I realize will object in whole or in part to what I am saying here. All this is secular work they say, and Christianity is a spiritual re- ligion. Years ago Robert South preached several great sermons in the Fatal Imposture and Farce of Words. This word "spiritual" is a fog-bank to most people and they commit a fatal imposture upon themselves by its use. Most people I fear hardly know what spiritual means, but they Rave an idea that somehow it always means an indif- ference to real and practical matters. God is spirit, and that means that God is Reason, Con- science, Purpose. Man is spirit because he is a being with reason, conscience and will. To be spiritual means to live by reason, to live by con- science, to live for a purpose. Spirituality you see denotes an attitude of soul, a frame of mind, a purpose in life. One may be wholly unspiritual reading the Bible and preaching sermons; and another may be wholly spiritual plowing a field, working for a better community and teaching peo- ple how to live a full and worthy human life. In a large sense the question if the country church is the question of a trained and qualified leadership. Thus far we have not had a generation of men trained for the leadership of the country churches. Some of the men in the pastorate in city and country are not trained for leadership anywhere. The fact that a man can take a text 8 8 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. and keep talking for half an hour may be proof presumptive that he is called to the ministry; and then it may not mean that he is called to that work. The fact that a man can preach with acceptance as an evangelist is no proof positive that he is a good man to become the settled pastor of a church. To become the settled pastor one must preach about 104 new sermons every year; he must be the leader of the church; and he should lead the people in various kinds of Social Service. Thus far we have had men trained for the work of the ministry, and some of this train- ing has been most excellent. No one honors the theological seminary more than I; and I con- fess that I have little patience with the whole- sale condemnation of the seminaries. But after all we must admit that the Theological Semina- ries in the past have not trained men for the pas- torate of country churches. Nay, in many cases the Seminaries have trained men away from these churches. The training they have received is largely training for the city churches, and the students who show an aptitude are usually draft- ed off for the city pulpits. Too often only the "left overs" from the Seminary are sent into the country. Even if the country churches attracted the ablest men of the seminaries the problem would not be solved. The pastor of the city church today requires a special training for work in a city and the pastor of the country church to- day no less requires this special vocational train- ing. I wish I could emphasize this ten fold: I wish I could bring this truth home to all of our people. The time has gone by forever when "any old thing" will do as pastor of a country church. I am ready to maintain that the need of a spe- cially trained ministry is greater in the country than in the city. One of the first steps in the so- lution of the problem is for the church to pre- pare trained men for country pastorates. If the present Theological Seminaries cannot do this work, if they will not; we must build and equip a THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 89 Seminary that will do it. The churches must breed a generation of men who will regard the pastorate of a country church as a career worth while. And we must have a new standard of ministerial values and successes. We must hon- or the pastors of the country churches as we do not honor them today. Take the programs of our state and national conventions, and country pastors are conspicuous by their absence. In conventions their voices, are seldom . heard. All this creates an atmosphere and makes a stand- ard that influences all. I know these country pas- tors and I honor them for their warm hearts and brave struggles. I know what sacrifices many of them are making for the cause of Christ. I know how they are engaged in the hard and almost hopeless effort of making bricks without straw. And I know also how many of them feel their sad lack of special preparation for their work and how gladly they would welcome any help that would give them a better equipment. I believe we owe these men high honor; and I believe we should give them the help they need. This com- mon standard affects the country pastor; and as he wants to do and be something he sighs for a city pastorate. He looks away to the city and sees this, brother and that preaching to a large congregation and receiving a fat salary; his ser- mons are often quoted in the papers and he seems to be a great city leader. Perhaps he is; and then perhaps he is not. But this is the fact none the less that the average city pastor is little else than a hewer of wood and a drawer of water. Few men in city pastorates hold a very large place in the city and wield a large influence. I have seen both; I have been both, and I know whereof I speak. Does a man want a field large enough for any man? Does he want a place of commanding influence? Does he want to touch and mould life at its very beginning? Does he want to be the first man in the community? Does he rebel at the prospect of being unknown and unnoticed? Then 90 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. let him avoid the city church and go to the country. Does a man want a field worth while? Does he want to serve with the feeling that he is doing something in the world? Does he want to live with the consciousness that his influence is deep and lasting? Then let him regard the coun- try pastorate as a career worthy of any man. The Things to Be Done. The problem of the country church is not by any means a simple one and it cannot be solved by any one line of effort. More than that, there is no easy panacea that will work itself and is guaranteed to cure all our troubles without any service on the part of any one. The problem of the Country Church means work, hard, patient, persistent work. But if we are working in line with the will of God we know that our labor shall be abundantly fruitful. We must find the causes, economic, social, political, and religious and deal with these. We must have a practical, constructive and Christian program of effort. We must touch life on all sides and must deal with the community as a whole. We must secure the co-operation of every agency of human and social uplift. Several things that lie along the line of effort may be mentioned. I. We must create a better community life. To this end we must first of all know the com- munity. Have a community survey and know the condition and needs. Then we will be in a position to work intelligently and fruitfully. We talk about slums, and many people suppose they are found only in a few great cities. But I have found slums as dismal and as degrading in a small town as in New York or Philadelphia. The evil of a slum is not in its size but in the very thing itself. In many of our towns we have slums with over-crowding, disease, immorality and all ungodliness. Know the facts and then unite the people of good will in behalf of com- munity betterment. THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 91 II. We must make the community more at- tractive. What is the first thing that strikes you as you come into many of our American towns? It is the dirt, the disorder, the ill kept streets, the unsightly alleys. If cleanliness is next akin to Godliness many of our towns are dreadfully un- godly, for they are dreadfully unclean. Have a town "clean up day," and keep it up all the year. The church is a good place to begin in this clean- up campaign. I have seen country churches that were most unattractive; the windows were dirty, the fences were broken, the yard had a fine crop of tin cans, the grass was uncut, ugly weeds were everywhere. No wonder young people shunned the church. The church should set a standard, and should have the cleanest, neatest, most at- tractive property in the community. III. We must direct the recreation of the com- munity. Play is natural to the child, and play is necessary. We have allowed recreation to become commercialized in this land, and as a consequence it often panders to the worst instincts in man. Recreation has become dissipation. Young peo- ple must have recreation, and they will have it. If they cannot have it under right conditions they will have it under wrong conditions. Th*e Coun- try Church can determine in large part which it shall be. Every community should have a wise and con- structive program of community recreation. Have a "Community Picnic" and get all the folks together. Every community has some interesting bit of history. Have a Pageant and protray this history. Get the boys interested in clean sport. The church can do many things that will make life more interesting and the community more at- tractive. IV. We must make the church a community centre. The time was when the church was the centre of everything in the community: it was newspaper, lecture course, it was the centre of intellectual and social life. I cannot go into de- 9 2 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. tail, but a number of things may be named. Have a "Nature Club"and study the flowers, the birds, the trees, the stars. Jesus quoted the book of na- ture more frequently than he quoted the Scrip- tures. The flowers and birds have just as many lessons to teach us in North Carolina as in Old Judea. The Patriarch of Uz knew the stars by name. The Psalmist saw God's glory in the heavens and read God's handiwork in the firma- ment. There are just as many stars over your head as shined over the head of David and Job. Study the stars; know them by name; pick out the great constellations; teach the boys and girls that the place where they are standing is just as full of glory and of God as any place in the wide world. Organize a singing school or a spelling bee. Have a Dramatic Club and get the young people interested. It will appeal to the romantic in human nature, and it will destroy the taste for many of the cheap and nasty shows that come to our towns. Have a course of lectures during the winter, not to make money, but as the church's contribution to the community's life. Have a "Debating Club" and discuss some of the vital topics of the day. "You need not fear to strike a ligh£" Lowell reminds us, "for the universe is fire proof." Wherever possible there should be a "Community Centre" as a part of the church equipment. Some people may object — whether wisely or hot we need not discuss, to holding these things in the church building. But anything that will help people has a rightful place in some part of a church. It is better, however, to have the Social Centre adjoining the church. We must link all life with the church, and we must infuse the religious spirit into all life. Religion is misdi- rected if it is not teaching us to be happier peo- ple, better neighbors; religion is missing the mark if it is not sweetening the play of children and is not making us love our community. The church may well have a community library and a magazine club. Let us not forget that THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 9 3 Christianity has a mission to the mind as well as to the heart. We are to love God with all our heart and with all our mind. The church that does not touch and quicken the intellectual life of the community is neglecting a vital part of its mission. Another thing: the country church must know its parish and must serve it in every possible way. The church should establish some points of con- tact with every family in its neighborhood. It should encourage study and family worship. Much can be done by having every family subscribe for a religious paper. Much can be done by promot- ing the circulation and use of good literature. I hope to see the time when every church will have a community library and will have regular read- ers' courses in the Bible, in church history, in mis- sions, in Social Study and current questions. Be- yond all this every church should have some defi- nite and practical plans for community evange- lism. Where any number of people are remote from a church have them maintain a regular pray- er meeting with stated preaching services. I realize fully that the pastor cannot do all of this work. But this is the work the deacons should do. Deacons in the early church were not mere figure-heads and office "holders," they were ac- tive workers and effective preachers. The church must develop from within its membership the workers who are needed for all of its service. V. W T e must redirect the educational system. The public school system is one of the great achievements of our American civilization. It has done much in the past to prepare the children for citizenship and to make democracy possible. But the public school system, it is confessed by all, needs to be changed at some points. The first thing is this: We must improve the rural schools. In some parts of our land the rural schools are very inadequately supported and poorly conduct- ed. In some sections the term of school is too short. In many states a larger proportion of these 9 4 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. schools have very few pupils. All this means a very inadequate educational equipment for life. No wonder many parents leave the country and crowd into the towns that their children may have better educational advantages. The most immediate and practical thing is a central school for a larger section. This will mean better build- ings, more and better teachers and more courses of study. Above all it will make possible the vo- cational training that is greatly needed in our land. This will make it possible for the schools to become more efficient, to touch life on all sides, to give instruction in technical subjects, and to interest the children in better farming. Great advances are being made in this direction; but much yet remains to be done. VI. We must create a new type of country life. Several things are fundamental here. First of all we must teach a new love for the soil. We must make people see that the soil is God's gift to His children; and in the last analysis it is the means through which He gives them daily bread. To misuse the soil, to waste its resources, to im- poverish it, is a great sin against God and a great wrong against the nation. Then we must inter- est the young people in farm life by showing that farmfng offers a field for talents. He is a bene- factor of the race who makes two blades of grass grow where before there was one. He is a much greater benefactor who teaches the people to raise seventy bushels of corn to the acre where before they were raising but thirty. To this end the church should enlist its young people in corn growing contests. Some Sunday Schools display their athletic trophies with just pride. The time is coming when our Sunday Schools will display their corn growing trophies with religious inter- est. The church may well and wisely offer its building for a Farmers' Institute, or for a Grange meeting. The great principle behind it all is this: That religion is a matter of life; and all life should be religious. We must link our religion THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 9 5 and our daily life. The church that is separating religion from life is off the track; the church that is hallowing life is the church that is advancing the Kingdom of God. VII. Finally, the church must reach out and touch the whole life of the community. The end and aim of all our prayer and effort is the King- dom of God. The Kingdom of God in the Chris- tian conception never means anything less than a righteous society on earth. We are here then to build a Christian type of community life. Chris- tianity will never have its perfect work till it has created a divine type of human society. We are to win men into Christ and to teach them His will, that they may become workers in His King- dom and living stones in the walls of the new city. W^e must build character, teach the mind, arouse the conscience and discipline the will, that men may go out and build their character, their intelligence, their conscience, their faith into their community life. Christian people are to build a Christian community. This requires thought, and purpose, a plan and program. Every church, we believe, should have a constructive program for serving the social needs of its community, either individually or through the largest possible co- operation with other agencies of human uplift. The success of a church is measured not alone in the additions to its membership, but in the sweet- ened life of its community. Is the community becoming a more attractive place to live in? Is it becoming a safer place for boys and girls to be born into? Is it becoming a better place for men and women to serve God in? If so, that church is fulfilling its mission and is glorifying the Fa- ther in heaven. As a man who knows Christ sets before himself the purpose of growing up into Christ in all things, as a man and woman unite their lives in the work of making a Christian home, as a company of believers unite their faith 9 6 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. in the work of spreading the Gospel throughout the world; so the people of good will in a com- munity are to unite their intelligence, their con- science, their religion in the work of building a Christian Community. Any effort that will help any life in any way is the translation into deed of some article of our Christian faith. DENOMINATIONAL CHRISTI- ANITY. By B. D. GRAY, D.D., Atlanta, Ga, Peace. There is a universal cry for peace. Above the din and carnage of the Balkan struggle the peace call sounded throughout the earth, and the sav- age cruelty of the Mexican strife makes the world sigh, "How long?" The money of the millionaire provides a home for The Hague Tribunal at whose council board the chief topic is international conciliation' with the view of universal peace. During this year of grace the Nobel prize of $40,000 has been awarded an American, Hon. Elihu Root, for his contribution to the peace of the world. Arbi- tration treaties with peaceful purposes are be- ing negotiated by the United States with the leading nations of the earth. The deepest need of mankind is the "Pax Vobiscum" of our Lord. Like Him we would place the beatitude of sonship with God upon the peace makers of the world. Union. Along with this desire for peace is a wide- spread conviction for union, the child of peace. Many things are set aside not because they are untrue but because they are supposed to stand in the way of union. The things that divide are eschewed. Only those that bring union are worth while. Concession instead of conviction is the order of the day in many quarters. -Creeds are decried and denominational- ism is anathematized. Everybody is to concede all he can in order to cure the heresy of schism. A resultant of all this in the religious world 97 : '"• 98 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. is the magnifying of non-denominational or in- ter-denominational movements. We want some- thing that all can come into, where there is no denominationalism. If denominationalism will persist in living, let it be controlled by the broader more liberal thing, un-denominationalism. Forthwith a world pro- gram is in order for the marching hosts of Chris- tendom, with an attenuated denominationalism. That is a trend of the times. Now, over against this is a fact of history, name- ly, that movements have been successful when they have magnified convictions. All the reforms and progress of the world have been achieved by men of conviction. Granted their fanaticism has Oftentimes held sway, it remains true that martyrs and heroes have conquered by conscience. Let us witness John the Baptist, Paul, Chrysostom, Savonorola, Huss, Wycliffe, Luther, Knox, Wes- ley, and all worthy of a place in the cloud of wit- nesses of the eleventh Chapter of Hebrews. Jt may be noted further that a name is given to the champions of ideas. Let ideas and con- victions take possession of men so that they go forth in their championship, presently they are called by the name that designates these thoughts. The name may be given in derision or in approba- tion, but the thought brought the name. Philos- ophy, Science, Painting, Sculpture have made progress by schools. The progress of Christianity has been made through denominationalism, as government has been through parties. Luther and Wesley had no name for their reforms at first but Lutheranism and Wesleyanism soon became names full of meaning and slogans to conjure with. . Honest, noble, worthy denominationalism spells loyalty, conviction, courage; stands for something and calls to something. It conserves instead of compromising convictions. It wins victories, gains followers, makes conquests. THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 99 Democracy. The cry for peace and union is not deeper nor more strenuous than the well nigh universal call of democracy. In Republics the democratic spir- it is penetrating all forms of government, com- merce and life. Trusts and combinations are yielding to the inevitable spirit of brotherhood and democracy. Nor is this human spirit con- fined to Republics. It thunders at the throne of empires and kingdoms. It makes unsettled the head that wears the crown. Imperialism has no footing in the western world. The thrones of Europe, one after another, are crumbling under the test of democracy. The Czar of Russia is feeling the teachings of Tolstoi. Almost within a day the Empire of China, isolated, ignorant, proud and oppressive, was converted into a Re- public. In the religious realm democracy is in the as- cendant. Ecclesiastical hierarchies are modifying their constitutions and the laity as well as the clergy are coming into their own. The spiritual equality of all believers in Christ is a doctrine that grows apace. The Day for Baptists. So we have three great thoughts pervading the human breast, giving utterance with voice and pen throughout the earth — Peace, Union, Democ- racy. These are Baptist assets. We love peace and union and democracy. We have been their chief exponents in the past. Sometimes pur- chased at a great price, nevertheless peace, union and democracy are watchwords with Baptists. And now that the world cries out for the blessings that will come in the wake of peace, union and democracy, the Baptist day has come. The pres- ent opportunity must be seized. We want peace though it come through war. We want union but we want the truth more and for the right of in- dividual conscience, which is true democracy, we 100 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY are ready to lay down our lives even as did our fathers. The largest charity for others consistent with loyalty to the whole round of truth as we see it shall be extended, but we will not sacrifice prin- ciple for the sake of peace, nor be truant to the truth for the sake of union. Like our Master we small minister to others and not be ministered unto, but in order to make our ministry most ef- fective we will make our own program of service. Just now, as probably never before, there is need on the part of Baptists for proper accentuation. The primary and secondary accent we will ob- serve. On matters fundamental we shall stand immovable. On secondary matters we will put proportionate stress. The ordinances of our Lord we will hold invio- late and we will not break the mold of doctrine in which they are set and so vitiate the truth they symbolize. Our ambition shall be to incarnate the truth in our lives that the world may know that Christ lives because we live. The methods of our propagandism may be many but the Master of our lives is one. We seek His honor, we await His command. His Word is our law and we go forth to conquer in His name. Our Baptist people are great in numbers, are growing in wealth, intelligence and social power and in the South we have the unparalleled oppor- tunity of all the ages, if we are true to Him who has purchased us with His own blood. We shall lay ourselves and our all upon His altar and do our utmost to bring His reign throughout the whole earth. EARTHLY WISDOM IN HEAVENLY AFFAIRS. By CHAS. ANDERSON, Statesville, N. C. A rather high sounding subject for what is in- tended to be a very practical and matter of fact discussion of methods in the affairs of the King- dom. In contrasting many business methods em- ployed by the church of today with the methods in use by honest and successful business men, one cannot but be impressed with the fact, that it still remains true, "The children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light." As I understand the parable of the Un- just Steward, he was commended, not for his dis- honesty, but for so conducting his business af- fairs as to win unto himself friends. Is not this what every first class business man of today is honestly striving to do? He strives to have every department of his business so conducted as to make friends and so win patronage. This is very far from being true of the strictly business affairs of the church. There still remain traces of the old idea that business must not so much as be mentioned in the affairs of the King- dom, and that to employ business methods found- ed on the soundest principles of business would be desecration. The idea, so long prevalent, that a minister must not be paid a definite salary but be content with whatever amount his people may choose to "give" him, lingers in only a few locali- ties; but there is still, very widely extended, the belief that a preacher who insists on having a de- finite and clear cut understanding in regard to the amount of salary, time of payment, etc., is mer- cenary and is conducting himself in a very unbe- coming manner. Why not recognize at once that we are really engaged in a business? A just conception of this 101 102 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. fact will not lessen our regard for religion, but, properly understood, should stimulate our indus- try and make each one of us more attentive to the affairs of the church. This is the day of "Big Business," and we sometimes look with awe at the colossal business concerns of our country and are amazed at the gigantic intellects that have con- ceived enterprises on so magnificent a scale. Be- loved, the great business enterprise of the age is not "Standard Oil" or "United States Steel." The greatest business enterprise of this or of any oth- er age is the business of the Kingdom of God, whose purpose is to extend the reign of Jesus Christ to the uttermost portions of the earth, to bring to pass the conditions foretold when "every knee should bow — and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Fa- ther." It is the King's business and is above all business. Mind of man has never yet been form- ed that could plan on such a scale as our Lord has planned. While our business men of today, after centuries of business development and years of smaller things, are gradually spreading out and reaching the different nations of the world, so be- coming world wide in their business operations, in the business of the Kingdom, from its very incep- tion, there has been nothing less than this con- templated, and its language, from the first, was of world wide affairs. True it is, that for a time those to whom the affairs were entrusted could not comprehend the scope of the enterprise and limit- ed their operations and plans, yet this was be- cause they had not followed the plain plans and instructions of Jesus Christ, whose language was always world wide in its terms. Let us realize, once for all, that we are here on business for the King, and conduct the affairs of the Kingdom in such a way as shall be becoming to the dignity of the enterprise in which we are engaged, and with such sterling business sense and method as to com- mand the respect and admiration of the children of the world. On the spiritual side, there is, and THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 1.03 has been, displayed, such a spirit of courageous faith, of willing sacrifice, as to challenge the ad- miration of men. On the side where we touch the world in purely secular ways there has been a carelessness and indifference to the simplest business principles, that dimmed the glory of spiritual achievement. A wise business man un- dertakes to make each department of his business supplement and assist the other. Is it not time we were paying attention to this side of the busi- ness of the Kingdom, that it may add to and en- hance the glory of our purely spiritual achieve- ments? Let us consider a few of the most funda- mental principles underlying successful business and note if applicable to the church of Jesus Christ. A business enterprise is to be launched and car- ried on, its promoters hope, to a successful con- clusion. There is a definite system worked for the carrying on of that business. A system adapted to the business and the conditions under which it is to be operated and yet flexible enough to admit of changes as occasions may demand. Every local church needs a definite system. In some respects these systems will differ in differ- ent localities and under different conditions. It is not my purpose to offer a definite system, but rather to insist that there be a system and that it be founded on correct business principles, for, however much systems may differ, the principles of good business are the same and must underly every successful business system. The next move is to finance the business; by which I mean furnish the necessary capital for the carrying on of the enterprise. If the business is to be a success it must be adequately financed for the accomplishment of the ends it has in view. Here many business enterprises fail. Lack of vis- ion and dependence upon things that are expected to occur, but may not, frequently leave a business crippled because inadequately financed. It must be adequate to the ends to be accomplished. If 104 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. one aims at only a small business, only a small capital is needed. Men usually furnish this capi- tal in either cash or securities that are available as cash. In some great enterprises, where the location of the business in certain localities will be a distinct advantage to that locality, certain gifts are made by the people of that particular lo- cality to secure the business. This has been true of factories, railroads, and other great enterprises* But even these were not in the real sense gifts, but payments for benefits expected to accure. In the affairs of the Kingdom there arises the Question of financing the movement, for it can no more be carried on without the necessary finan- cial backing than any other enterprise. (In this discussion I refer, for the most part, to the local church, as the unit of our organization.) It is needful that in the matter of financing the church we be mindful of the dignity of the enterprise and so conduct this important part of its business as to win the confidence and respect of the people among whom it is to work. Three methods large- ly in use, generally a combination of the three, occur to me. The first one is what I call the "Hold Up" meth- od. Under this method certain politicians, busi- ness men and men in various forms of public life are selected, and approached with a request for a contribution to the church, although these parties have no connection with the church. The natural implication of such a request is, if you do not "come across" I will not vote for you or trade with you. A gentleman of Kentucky, now in Con- gress, called me into his office when he was mak- ing his first race for Congress and showed me a letter from a young lady, a member of the organ committee of a Baptist church in a remote part of his district, asking for a contribution. This gentleman did not know her and neither did I. He was a Catholic. He wanted me to tell him how much to send. I said "nothing." He replied, he must send something and so enclosed his check for THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 105 $50.00. A clear case of "hold-up." Your busy men and public men around you can tell you that these experiences are of frequent occurrence. This is not business. Such methods do not make friends. The second method is that of begging. We hear committees spoken of as begging commit- tees; certain persons in the church spoken of as good beggars. We speak of "giving" so much to church expenses, pastor's salary, etc. The Ro- man Catholic idea of Mendicancy has been in- stilled into the church and is hard to eradicate. The Kingdom is too great a business to be financ- ed by begging methods. They give false impres- sions of the dignity of the work, low ideals in planning the work. Let us cease to talk of giving to the church and speak of paying into the treas- ury of the church. Let us drop the role of beggar and stand out as business men, honestly and in a business like way financing the enterprise. We do not confine our so-called begging to members of the church, but make it real begging by going to those without. The first thought that seems to come to a church today when they contemplate buying a new organ, is, "how much can we get from Mr. Carnegie?" I like the spirit recently diplayed in one of our churches when this ques- tion was raised: One of the deacons arose and said, "I move you, that we buy the organ if we can pay for it without help from Mr. Carnegie, if we cannot, let us wait until we can." They bought the organ finding themselves amply able to do so. There may come exceptional cases when it will be necessary to call for outside help, but they are very rare. The third method is God's method. "Upon the firstl day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him." This plan will finance the Kingdom adequately, in a manner in keeping with the dignity of the business, and in such a way as to win friends to the cause. I shall not speak at 106 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. length upon this. Much has been written upon this subject. Suffice it to say, it involves syste- matic giving upon the part of every member of the church, in the proportion that God has pros- pered him. Work it out. You can raise objec- tions to it but the same effort you expend in finding fault, expended in the other direction, will meet every objection that can be raised. Ltet us try God's plan. Having considered the matter of financing the Kingdom, let us consider the other side of the question: The expenditure of the money which comes into the Treasury. Here should be found a system of the strictest economy, administered in a spirit of liberality. The two words, economy and liberality, are not antonyms. It is possible to be economical and yet display a liberal spirit in the expenditure of every dollar. I know a man of moderate income who has a reputation for liberality, yet in fact is very economical. He holds all expenditures within the bounds of his income, but pays to church or mer- chant with such a cheery air of good will that he is always spoken of as a "liberal and cheerful giver." I know another man of much larger means whose expenditures, for the church and for him- self, are many times larger than that of the one first mentioned. He meets his obligations so re- luctantly and grudgingly that he is universally considered a "stingy man." The liberality of the first one mentioned, makes him friends; the stinginess of the latter causes people to dislike him. There should be the strictest economy con- sistent with efficiency. A true business man is always ready to spend money for properly in- creased efficiency. Here is where we too often fail in church matters. We think we can get along without this, that, and the other. And we can, but at the cost of efficiency. This question is most glaringly illustrated in the question of THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 107 church building and equipment. We have got- ten along with the old church so far and we can continue to do so. No need of Sunday School rooms, modern equipment and all of these new fangled ideas. This is too often the position taken by churches. In building we are apt to begin to cut down on the architect's plans, on the plea of economy, and generally at the cost of efficiency. One of the best investments the church of today can make, is in the erection of a comfortable, at- tractive, properly arranged and equipped church, in a good location. It attracts the outsider to you and gives the opportunity of preaching to many people that otherwise you would never reach. A church in a shabby, poorly located building has much the same handicap as a mercantile business conducted in a shabby, poorly located store building. In many ways we are apt to sac- rifice efficiency in the interest of imaginary econ- omy. Then again, economy at the expense of the good opinion of the public, or of individuals composing that public, is false economy. Here is an oppor- tunity for liberality in a way that will make you friends. A man of national reputation was asked to de- liver an address at a religious Assembly. He re- plied he would make no charge for his services, simply stipulating that his expenses should be paid. The very economical agent in charge of the Assembly ascertaining the actual number of miles traveled, figured out the actual railroad fare to the odd cent and mailed him check covering same. It happened that the gentleman was obliged to take one meal en route each way, and we all know there are always some expenses in- cident to a journey not covered by the actual rail- road fare, yet for none of these expenses was provision made. Brethren, this is very poor econ- omy. A minister was invited to visit a church really wanting his services. His expense account was called for. It amounted to $32.75. The 108 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. chairman of the Committee said, "there will like- ly be some small items you have overlooked, here is $35.00." A small matter hut it made its impression. A church should go on the market and buy its supplies at the market price and pay for them promptly. I have never been commissioned to buy for a church that some one did not suggest that I tell the merchant it was for the church and ask that it be sold at cost. Why should not the church as a self respecting, solvent business con- cern pay for what it gets? I believe that church and minister should pay, as does the general pub- lic, for what they buy. Away with the minister who wends his way from store to store asking for a discount of ten per cent because of his calling. Let him be a man among men and honestly pay his way. The church should be particular in the matter of meeting all obligations promptly. The minister's salary should be promptly paid at the times agreed upon, for this should be a matter upon which there is a definite agreement before the pastorate is begun. A clear understanding in money matters often saves hard feelings. A prominent minister, in his first pastorate, was sued for a small debt. It developed that at that time the church owed him an amount many times in excess of the small amount for which he was sued. I have never served a church that burned coal that did not buy its coal from some mem- ber of the church and let the bill run, some- times even until the next fall. In one instance the book-keeper of the firm was a young man who was inclined to disregard the claims of religion. He became so out of patience with the church's way of ignoring statements sent that he would curse every time an order came for coal. But some one will say, "how pay these bills promptly when there is no money in the treasury?" If God's plan of financing the Kingdom is followed there will generally be money in the treasury; but we shall not let this important matter await the THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. 109 attainment of our ideal in financing the church. Even with the ideal plan in force it will some- times happen that unusual expenses will occur at certain times when insufficient funds are on hand. This occurs in the best of well regulated businesses. What does the business man do? He goes to the bank and borrows the necessary money, paying interest thereon, and meets his ob- ligations. Why should not the church do the same? I have also sometimes noted another ad- vantage in such a procedure on the part of a church. I have sometimes thought it stimulated the deacons to more earnest effort in the matter of making collections. This promptly meeting obligations maintains your credit. In business this is all important. Some one has said that all business is conducted on credit. This is so nearly true that the firm with a poor credit has a very difficult task in so conducting its business as to meet keen competition. The Mercantile Agencies and Credit men rate business firms as "Prompt Pay," "Slow Pay," "Poor Pay" and there is still another class known as "Discounters," men who pay cash and take a discount on their bills for so doing. How would the church be rated by one of these agencies, the church of which you are a member? It should be rated as "Prompt Pay." But some one will say "this is all very well for the town or city church but the country church cannot do this because the farmer's money does not come in regularly." It is just as good and as necessary for the country church as for any other. The coun- try churches are paying less for maintenance of the work in their own communities, as well as for its spread abroad, than any other churches; and yet, take them as a whole, the farmers are the most prosperous people we have today. Their credit at the bank is just as good as that of the merchant or professional man. All that is need- ful is for them to be awakened to the needs of the case and they will and can meet it. A Kentucky country church that had always been slow in pay- 110 THE PREACHING FOR TO-DAY. ment of pastor's salary and had seen a procession of discouraged and disheartened pastors leave them, was in Conference for call of a new pastor. One deacon suggested, that as this was the sea- son of the year when they all had money, every one pay in cash, his full subscription for the year. This was done and the money deposited in a bank so each month the treasurer could hand to the pastor a check for his salary. It can be done in country, village or city where the people have a mind to do it. Many other thoughts occur to me but time forbids that I should take them up. I have undertaken to call to mind some of the sim- plest and most fundamental principles of good business and show that they are perfectly applica- ble to church affairs. I have taken only th- af- fairs of the local church in its local relations. Its connection with the great co-operative work of Missions, Education and Benevolences form a sub- ject for a more extended discussion. We see be- fore us the great waste in large interest pay- ments annually that would be entirely, or for the most part unnecessary, would we but adopt busi- ness methods. The same principles in relation to these affairs will work out the solution. After all the church that puts business principles into its purely local affairs will do the same in co- operative work. In speaking of the work of the Kingdom as a business I have meant in all rever- ence simply to assert that it is necessary to be- stow upon the work of the Kingdom of God at least as much good, consecrated, common sense as we display in earthly business and that we give to it a position of dignity and prominence, at least equal to that of our own business concerns. Get the idea that your God is no beggar and can- not be pleased with the lowering of His Church to the plane of a mendicant seeking alms, where it has a right to "collect His dues from the stew- ards He has placed in charge of His vineyard."